The Indian Air Force on Monday said that they have “irrefutable evidence” that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 had been shot down by India on February 27 during aerial combat.
“The IAF has irrefutable evidence that F-16 was used by PAF on February 27 and an IAF MiG21 Bison shot down a PAF F-16,” said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations.
The officer said, “the IAF has more credible information and evidence that is clearly indicative of the fact that PAF has lost one F-16 in the air action on February 27. However, due to security and confidentiality concerns, we are restricting information being shared in the public domain.”
The IAF team showed radar images on the slide — the F-16 crashed and fell across the Line of Control (LoC).
“There is no doubt that two aircraft went down in the aerial engagement on February 27, one of which was the bison of IAF while the other was F-16 of Pakistan Air Force conclusively identified by its electronic signature and radio transcripts,” the officer added.
“IAF had achieved its objectives of successfully striking the Balakot camp and thwarting the retaliatory PAF attack against Indian military installations that followed on February 27,” Air Vice Marshal Kapoor said.
The IAF and PAF were locked in an air duel on February 27 when a MiG 21 piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was hit and forced to eject. Varthaman landed across the LoC and was in Pakistani custody for three days before he was returned to India.
However, Pakistan had insisted that the PAF did not lose any fighter jet during aerial dogfight between the two air forces on February 27 and had not used the US-made F-16 combat jets.