IAF Scrambles SU-30s To Ward Off 4 Pakistan Jets
By: Pinki Tue, 02 Apr 2019 12:12 PM
The Air Force on Monday scrambled two Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets to intercept four Pakistani fighter jets that were flying close to the international border near Punjab’s Pakistani fighter jets, hours before dawn on Monday.
A conflicting news report said there were two Pakistani jets, identified as F-16. Sources were cited by a news magazine portal as saying that the Pakistani fighters were flying with a surveillance drone with the possible aim of monitoring Indian troop deployment near the border.
Several Pakistan drones have been shot down by the Air Force in the last two months along the border in Rajasthan and Gujarat, after tensions rose following a precision air strike at Balakot in Pakistan on February 26. Drones are commonly used in border areas by both the armed forces to spy on each other as they are lightweight, easy to operate and relatively inexpensive.
On March 4, a Pakistani surveillance drone was shot down by a Sukhoi-30MKI in Rajasthan’s Bikaner. A week before that, an Israeli-designed SPYDER surface-to-air missile system downed another drone in the Kutch region of Gujarat. Pakistan had also used the F-16s it got from the US in a skirmish with Indian fighter jets.
Pakistan on Monday for the first time indicated that F-16s might have been used to hit Indian fighter jets during the aerial combat on February 27 and said Islamabad retains the right to use “anything and everything” in its self-defence.Pakistan’s military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor issued a statement with reference to what he said were “repeated Indian claims” about shooting down of Pakistani F-16 by India and use of F-16 in the air battle on February 27.
“As regard the Pakistan Air Force strike across the Line of Control, it was done by JF-17 from within Pakistan airspace,” he said. Later, when two Indian jets crossed the Line of Control, they were shot down by the PAF, he claimed.
“Whether it was F-16 or JF- 17 which shot down 2 Indian aircraft is immaterial,” he said. He also rejected the assertion that any F-16 was destroyed by Indian Air Force in the dogfight. “The event of February 27 is part of history now. No Pakistani F-16 was hit by Indian Airforce,” he said.
Inputs from Freepressjournal