IAF claims 'irrefutable evidence' of shooting down Pakistan F-16

IAF Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman returns to India.
India on Monday said it has "irrefutable evidence" that it shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in an aerial combat on February 27, responding after an American news publication doubted its claim.

Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor showed journalists radar images to prove Indian Air Force's (IAF) claim. "The IAF has irrefutable evidence of not only the fact that F-16 was used by Pakistan Air Force on February 27, but also that an IAF Mig 21 Bison shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16," Kapoor said.

"There is no doubt that two aircraft went down in the aerial engagement on February 27, one of which was a Bison of IAF while the other was an F-16 of PAF conclusively identified by its electronic signature and radio transcripts," he said without taking questions.

The IAF has more credible evidence that the F-16 was brought down, but couldn't make it public because of "security and confidentiality concerns".

American magazine 'Foreign Policy' on April reported that a US military had counted the F-16s with Pakistan--and found none missing.

The report contradicted the claim made by New Delhi that the IAF shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan.

India has maintained that IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman had engaged with one of the Pakistani F-16s and shot it down before his Mig-21 Bison was downed.

Varthaman was captured by Pakistan and was released after spending nearly 60 hours in Pakistani custody. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel