New Delhi: During a tri-service press conference of Army, Navy and Air Force on Thursday, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that they were happy that their pilot, who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in custody of Pakistan, is being released. “We’re extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture which is in consonance with all Geneva conventions,” he said.
The Indian Army said that its weapons systems were on high alert and its mechanized forces were on standby in the wake of the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) attempts to hit Indian military installations a day earlier.
Major General SS Mahal told the media that on Wednesday PAF jets tried to target Brigade Headquarters, Battalion Headquarters and logistics installations in Jammu and Kashmir. But their designs were foiled because of the high level of preparedness by the Indian armed forces.
Navy Rear Admiral DS Gujral added, “We are ready for any misadventure by Pakistan and we are ready for resolute action. We want to ensure safety and security of our citizens.”
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor refuted Pakistan’s claims that it had not used F-16s on Wednesday and said that one F-16 was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison.
India has conclusive evidence that Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) F-16s were involved in the aerial engagement on the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday as parts of AIM 120 AM-RAAM missile were found on the Indian side.
It is a beyond visual range missile carried by F-16s. A PAF F-16 was shot down by IAF combat air patrol but Pakistan is yet to acknowledge the loss even though visuals of wreckage of the aircraft appeared on Thursday.
A large number of PAF fighters had approached the LoC and were challenged by the IAF. F-16, PAF’s most advanced jet, was challenged and shot down by IAF’s vintage MiG-21 Bison.
Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman had engaged the aircraft and fired the R-73 missile getting better in the dog fight.
(With IANS inputs)