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)