According to Foreign Policy magazine, Pak invited US to physically count its F-16 planes.
The Indian Air Force today said it had proof that a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down in the February dogfight, as American news publication Foreign Policy contradicted India quoting unnamed US defence officials. “Two senior US defense officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy that U.S. personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing,” the publication says in a report published on Thursday.
In a statement, the Air Force said: “The Indian Forces have confirmed sighting ejections at two different places on that day. The two sightings were at places separated by at least 8-10 km. One was an IAF MiG 21 Bison and other a PAF aircraft. Electronic signatures gathered by us indicate that the PAF aircraft was a F-16.”
The government had said that in an aerial duel on February 27 – a day after India sent fighter jets to Pakistan’s Balakot to strike a terror training camp – Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman had engaged with one of the Pakistani fighter jets that tried to target Indian military facilities and shot it down before he was hit and forced to eject. Abhinandan Varthaman landed across the Line of Control and was in Pakistani custody for three days before he was returned to India amid attempts to de-escalate the crisis between the two sides.
The Air Force said radio intercepts proved that two pilots had ejected, not…