New Delhi, February 28 (Hindustan Times): Indian Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor on Thursday confirmed that it was the MiG-21 Bison, which Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was flying, shot down the F-16 Pakistan Air Force jet in the aerial engagement with Pakistan on Wednesday morning.
“In the aerial combat that ensued one F16 of the Pakistan Air Force was shot down by Indian Air Force MiG 21 Bison aircraft. The F16 crashed and fell across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Air Force lost one MiG 21 aircraft. Though the pilot ejected safely his parachute drifted into PoJ&K, where he was taken into custody by Pakistan Army,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi.
The aerial dogfight referred to by the air vice marshal took place after PAF violated Indian airspace and attempted to target military installations following strike by IAF at a terror camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The terror camp was said to be the biggest run by Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“On 27th of February, at around 1000 hours, Indian radars detected a large package of Pakistan Air Force aircraft heading towards Indian territories, towards general area of Jhangar. They breached the Indian airspace west of Rajouri in the Sundarbani area,” said Air Vice Marshal Kapoor providing details of the aerial dogfight.
“ The invading aircraft were engaged at various levels. The IAF aircraft including MiG-21 Bison were tasked to intercept the intruding PAF aircraft. The Pakistan Air Force aircraft attempting to target military installations were intercepted by the Indian Air Force aircraft, which foiled their attempt,” he said.
He also said that although Pakistan Air Force bombs fell in the compound of India’s military installation, it failed to cause any damage.
(The featured image at the top shows Wing.Com.Abhinandan Varthaman -second from left – with his fellow officers)