Shooting down Mi-17 in Budgam was a ‘big mistake’ on our part: IAF Chief

Air Marshal Bhadauria was a chief test pilot for Tejas and is one of the first IAF pilots to fly the Rafale jet.

Indian Air Force Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Friday admitted that shooting down its own Mi-17  helicopter in Kashmir on February 27 was a “big mistake” and punitive action is being taken against the guilty.

“It was a big mistake on our part to shoot down our own helicopter on Feb 27. Court of inquiry submitted its report on shooting down of chopper, disciplinary action being taken against two officers,” he said.

In his first press conference after being appointed the Indian Air Force Chief, Bhadauria said Air Force has achieved many important milestones in the last year including Balakot airstrikes.  He reiterated that IAF is prepared to meet any contingency and does not rest on past laurels.

Talking about Balakot strikes Bhadauria said that Pakistan lost an F-16 and India a MiG-21 in aerial engagement with the Pakistan Air Force a day after the Balakot strikes.

Bhadauria also said acquisition of Rafale aircraft and S400 air defence systems will greatly enhance IAF’s operational capabilities.

Mi-17 crash

IAF chief, Budgam aircrash, M1-17 crash, balakot airstrike, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, Jammu and kashmir
Locals gather as army soldiers stand near the wreckage of an aircraft after it crashed in Garend Kalan village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Feb 27. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

On February 27, a surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the Mi-17 aircraft in Kashmir’s Budgam, a…

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