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India Shares F-16 Evidence With US to Highlight Misuse, Says Brigade and Battalion HQs Were Targeted

Although Pakistan vehemently denies using the F-16, the IAF had displayed parts of an AMRAAM missile, which can only be fired from the fighter jet. The missile part had fallen on the Indian side of the Line of Control after the aerial combat.

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Updated:March 2, 2019, 12:47 PM IST
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India Shares F-16 Evidence With US to Highlight Misuse, Says Brigade and Battalion HQs Were Targeted
IAF officials show sections of an exploded Amraam missile, said to be fired by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16s, at an IAF, Army and Navy joint press conference in New Delhi on . (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: The central government has shared with the United States evidence of the fighter jet brought down by IAF pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, in an aerial dogfight over the Line of Control on Wednesday to bolster its case about misuse of the fighter aircraft against India.

Although Pakistan vehemently denies using the F-16, the IAF had displayed parts of an AMRAAM missile, which can only be fired from the fighter jet. The missile part had fallen on the Indian side of the Line of Control after the aerial combat.

The US has sought more information on the potential misuse of F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan against India in violation of the end-user agreement, the State Department has said.

The Indian Air Force on Thursday displayed parts of an AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile as evidence to "conclusively" prove that Pakistan deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir after India's anti-terror operation in Balakot.

Pakistan on Wednesday categorically said that no F-16 fighter jets were used and denied that one of its planes had been downed by the Indian Air Force.

"We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information," a State Department spokesperson said. "Due to non-disclosure agreements in Foreign Military Sales contracts, we cannot discuss the specifics of end user-agreements contained within," Lt Col Kone Faulkner, a Defense Department spokesperson said.

According to Pentagon's Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) F-16 jets were meant to be used to "enhance Pakistan's ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations". Publicly available documents reveal that US has imposed nearly a dozen restriction on Pakistan related to its use of F-16.

The Air Force has also given a detailed version of what transpired on Wednesday morning, when Pakistani jets violated Indian airspace but were stopped.

It said that radars picked the PAF jets, which entered from Rajouri in Sunderbani area, at 10 am and IAF fighters, including MiG-21 Bison, Su-30 MKI and Mirage-2000 were tasked to intercept them.

The PAF aircraft, the IAF said, attempted to target military installations and their bombs fell in Indian Army Formation compounds, but did not cause any damage. The Army said that Brigade HQ, a Battalion HQ, forward defences and a Logistics Installation were the targets.

“In the aerial combat that ensued one F-16 of PAF was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 Bison. The F-16 crashed and fell across the LOC in POJ&K,” the statement said.

Debunking Pakistan claims of not using the F-16, the Air Force said there is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission and Pakistan is trying to hide this fact.

“Also, parts of AMRAAM Air to Air Missile which is carried only on the F-16s in PAF were recovered East of Rajauri within the Indian territory. Therefore, the fact remains that one F-16 of PAF was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 Bison aircraft,” it added.

The Air Force also rejected Pakistan’s claims of “intentionally dropped weapons in open space where there was no human presence or military posts”. It added the fact is that the PAF aircraft targeted military installations but were intercepted.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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