The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reiterated that it shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the air action on February 27 in the Nowshera sector near the Line of Control (LoC). The IAF statement followed an article in US-based Foreign Policy which claimed that the United States had counted the F-16 aircraft with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and found that no fighter jet was missing in its inventory.
IAF, sources said, based its claim on circumstantial evidence. This is because camera and radar images, which prove that the F-16 was shot down, have been lost with the Mig-21 Bison aircraft — piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan — which crashed on the Pak side of the LoC, officials said.
The circumstantial evidence included images from Electronic Support Measures of AWACS, crash-site debris which showed parts that are not of Mig 21 Bison, radio telephony intercepts which showed that one aircraft did not return and wireless intercepts of Pak army units.
“After the IAF attack on the terrorist camp at Balakot on Feb 26, PAF attempted a riposte on Feb 27. A large force of PAF F-16s, JF 17s and Mirage III/V aircraft were picked up by IAF radars. They were intercepted by IAF Su30-MKI, Mirage-2000 and…