'Irrefutable evidence': IAF nails Pakistan's lies, shows radar images of shooting down its F-16

Earlier on 5 April, IAF refuted claims of a report by 'Foreign Policy', a US magazine which quoted sources to claim that US personnel inspected PAF's F-16 fleet and found none of them missing.

Published: 08th April 2019 07:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2019 01:15 PM   |  A+A-

RGK Kapoor

Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor addresses a press conference at South Block in New Delhi Monday April 8 2019. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav,EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday presented “irrefutable evidence” to end the over-a-month-long debate on Pakistan using US made F-16 fighters in February to attempt a hit on Indian military installations during which, one of their jets was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

In a Press conference in the national capital, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said, “The IAF has irrefutable evidence of not only the fact that an F-16 was used by PAF on 27 Feb19, but also that an IAF MiG21 Bison shot down a PAF F-16.”

On the 26 February, the government claims that the IAF successfully struck the biggest training camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot, Pakistan.  As a repost, PAF aircraft attempted to target military installations in India the next day. 

ALSO READ | Pakistan now indicates F-16s might have been used to hit Indian aircraft post-Balakot action

AVM Kapoor cited electronic intelligence and radio intercepts to support his statement.

“Analysis of electronic emissions has shown that the aircraft picked up by the ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) intercepts from AWACS and radio transcripts indicated F-16s in the area directly in front of Wg Cdr Abhinandan’s aircraft.”

He displayed radar images and maps of the aerial duel while he was speaking. One of the maps indicated three radar blips (bold points) on the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) side while one point, representing IAF’s MiG 21 Bison was spotted inside the LoC. Maps showing the situation were based on visuals taken from an Indian Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). An image taken 90 seconds after the first one showed the top blip on the Pakistan side and the Indian MiG missing.

There is no doubt that two aircraft went down, he said.  One was a Bison of the IAF while the other was an F-16 of the PAF, which was conclusively identified by its electronic signature and radio transcripts, he added.

Moreover, the IAF shared a map of the visual sighting of two deployed parachutes. The aerial force also cited official statements made by Pakistan side after the incident. “Certain official statements made by the DG ISPR further corroborate the IAF stand. In his initial statement on 27 Feb19, the DG ISPR categorically said ‘3 pilots — one in custody, and two in the area’... The same was further corroborated by the statement of Pakistan’s prime minister...” concluded AVM Kapoor.

Top navy man moves tribunal

Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, presently the senior-most serving naval officer, on Monday moved the Armed Forces Tribunal claiming that he had been overlooked as a candidate for post of the next navy chief, despite his seniority. The government last month named Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the successor to Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires on May 30. According to officers privy to developments, the other contenders included Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar and FOC-in-C of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla.

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