by Abhishek Saksena

A day after India’s raids on Balakot, Pakistan Air Force in a poorly planned mission intruded into the Indian air space with the intent of hitting forwarded Indian Army locations. The Pakistani formation was spotted on the radar and aircraft were airborne to engage them. One of the pilots scrambled was Wing Commander Abhinandan, who shot down one of the two F-16 he chased using a R-73 heat seeking missile. Indian army personnel on the ground report seeing two parachutes falling on the other side of the LoC. Which means that PAF lost a B or D model. Wing Commander Abhinandan’s Mig was shot down by ground fire in the battle and he had to eject after. A missile was fired at his wing-man, but it missed the mark, landing in Rajouri in Kashmir.

Pakistan has maintained that it didn’t lose any aircraft in the attempted raid and that no F-16s were part of their formation. Unfortunately, their bubble of lies burst when proof was presented during the tri-services press briefing late evening on 28 Feb. The proof was a piece of debris of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile), the missile that missed the target. According to Air Marshal RGK Kapoor, the only PAF aircraft capable of carrying the missile is the F-16. Also there are electronic signatures of the aircraft in the air at the time are recorded.

Here’s where things get interesting. Pakistani propaganda will have you believe that the IAF Mig-21 was shot down by a JF-17.