India today has strongly denied a US report claiming that none of the F-16 fighter jets of the Pakistan Air Force was shot down in the February 27 aerial dogfight along the Line of Control. The Indian Air Force said that “electronic signatures” indicate that the downed PAF fighter jet was a F-16.
“During the aerial engagement that followed, one MiG 21 Bison of the IAF shot down one F-16,” Air Vice Marshal RGV Kapoor said. “The Indian Forces have confirmed ejections at two different places on that day. These were separated by at least 8-10 kms. One was an IAF MiG 21 Bison and the other a PAF aircraft,” he added.
The IAF carried out strike at a terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The target was understood to be the biggest training centre of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Pakistan-based terror outfit which owned responsibility for the Pulwama attack on February 14. A CRPF convoy had been targeted in a suicide bombing on the Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 soldiers.
“After the IAF attack on the terrorists camp at Balakot on 26 Feb 19, PAF attempted a riposte on 27 Feb 19. A large force of PAF F-16s, JD 17s and Mirage III/V aircraft were picked up by IAF radars,” the air vice marshal said.
He said the PAF aircrafts were intercepted by IAF Su30-MKI, Mirage-2000 and MiG-21 Bison fighters guided by ground radars and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). All attempts of PAF to attack any targets were thwarted by the IAF, he added.