The 51 Squadron of the Indian Air Force has paid a rich tribute to Wing Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 Bison Squadron with new shoulder patches.
The shoulder patch features MiG-21 Bison which had shot down the Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft. The squadron got Falcon Slayers and AMRAAM Dodgers patches to commemorate the February 27 dogfight.
Also, the 51 Squadron patch depicts a MiG-21 Bison in the foreground and a red-colored F-16 in the background under crosshairs. On that fateful day of Feb 27, Varthaman was captured by Pakistan after his MiG-21 was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force fighter planes. He was captured by the Pakistani side and was released to India after being in their custody for 48 hours.
These new patches are expected to add to the sense of pride among the officers and the airmen of the 51 Squadron, also called Sword Arms. The squadron has a fleet of MiG-21s, one of which Abhinandan had used to down the Pakistani F-16 `Falcon .
According to IAF officials, the pilots who are flying the MiG-21 Bison posted in the 51st Squadron will now be allowed to put the special ‘Falcon Slayers’ badge on their G-suit (i.e. uniform) they wear at the time of flying the fighter machine.
Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman s unit is using new patch showcasing his bravery by calling itself the Falcon Slayer for striking down a Pak F-16 during Feb 27 aerial battle. Unit also calls itself AMRAAM dodgers as MiG-21 evaded 4-5 AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles fired by Pakistani F-16 pic.twitter.com/qbple7edJW
ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2019
Bulk order has been placed for these badges, confirmed sources.
Why Amraam Dodgers & Falcon Slayers?
The Pakistan Air Force s (PAF) F-16 Falcon is equipped with American Amraam missile. On Feb 27, in the dog fight between the Indian MiG-21 Bison and SU-30 MKI, PAF s F-16 Falcon had hit the MiG-21 Bison with the Amraam missile; still, the MiG-21 Bison had downed the F-16. To honour this victory the patch has AMRAAM DODGERS & Falcon Slayers.
Also, the SU-30 MKI which was also part of that operation has a new patch which also reads Avenger and Amraam Dodger.