The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday reiterated that it has credible information and evidence that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) lost one F-16 in the air action on February 27 duel over Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir.
Briefing the media persons, Air vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, said that not only the IAF has irrefutable evidence that F-16 was used by PAF on Feb 27 but also, MiG-21 Bison flown piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a PAF F-16.
Making the first official statement related to the shooting down of F-16 of PAF, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor Assistant Chief of IAF, Operations, told the media persons on Monday that There is no doubt that two aircraft went down in the aerial engagement on February 27, one was the Bison (MiG 21) of the IAF and the other was a F-16 of PAF, conclusively identified by its electronic signature and radio transcripts.
Due to security and confidentiality concerns we are restricting the information being shared in the public domain, he said.
Sharing some radar images related to the PAF fighter planes: F-16 & J 17 being tracked by the Indian side and the images which captured with seconds of the F-16 disappear from, the IAF radar.
According to Kapoor, analysis of electronic emissions have shown that the aircraft picked up the intercepts from airborne radars and radio transcripts indicated F-16s in the area directly in front of Wing Commander Abhinandan s aircraft. The IAF official cited radio intercept from Pakistan that showed the capture of two pilots, one being Wing Commander Abhinandan and other one being admitted to a military hospital.
Sharing some slides and maps for reference, Kapoor said that PAF aircraft had fired multiple AMRAAM missiles and the IAF had used counter measures and tactical manoeuvres.
The Indian side has been asserting since last week after a US based Foreign Policy magazine stated that the US count of the F-16s with Pakistan has found that none of them are missing, contradicting India’s claim that one of its fighter jets shot down a Pakistani F-16 during an aerial dogfight on Feb 27.
IAF official officially confirmed sighting ejections at two different places on that day (Feb 27) at places separated by at least 8-10 Kms one was an IAF MiG-21 Bison and the other was PAF aircraft. The first sighting was due west, in general area Sabzkot and the second, was after a few minutes, southwest. The two parachutes were seen from places at vantage point.
Explaining the sequence of events, according to IAF said that after an attack on the terrorist camp at Balakot, PAF attempted a riposte next day which had F-16s, JF 17s and Mirage III/V aircraft which were was picked up by the IAF radars.
These Pakistani fighters were intercepted by the IAF s SU-30 MKI, Mirage 2000 and MiG-21 Bison fighter guided by the ground radars and AWACs and the attempts by the enemy air force were thwarted.
The IAF had to issue an official statement denying reports which were published in an American magazine, expressing doubts over the shooting down of F-16 fighter aircraft belonging to the US based Lockheed Martin aerospace company.