Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as he is released by Pakistan authorities at Wagah border on the Pakistani side
File photo of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman | PTI photo
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New Delhi: “Turn cold, turn cold”, a young woman IAF controller sitting in a secure control room in Punjab shouted repeatedly, exactly a month ago. But Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman could not hear anything inside his MiG-21 Bison.

Not realising that he had crossed the Line of Control, Abhinandan locked on to an F-16 of the Pakistan Air Force and fired his R-73 air-to-air missile seconds before his plane was shot at. In a matter of seconds, both aircraft went tumbling down into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

What the woman officer was telling the Wing Commander was to abandon and return as he had crossed over, top sources in the Indian Air Force told ThePrint.

An analysis of the dogfight of 27 February by the IAF has revealed that Abhinandan could not hear the command being given by the officer. The IAF believes this could be because of radio jamming by Pakistan.


Also readIAF Wing Commander Abhinandan didn’t break, share military info despite Pakistani “interrogation”


Sequence of events

Sources said that around 9:30 am, IAF flight controllers noticed that a large package of PAF aircraft had taken off in a matter of minutes. These aircraft, numbering about 24, included at least 11 F-16s, and got airborne in a span of 15 minutes.

Sources said more than half of them headed to the LoC, while a few remained along the international border.

While India’s Sukhoi Su-30s were on a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) in the Rajasthan sector, two Mirage 2000s were on CAP at the LoC.

The officer in question was sitting in the control room at the time, giving instructions and coordinating the response to the challenge thrown by the Pakistan Air Force. She realised that things could get difficult and immediately ordered the scampering of more Su-30s and MiG-21s, which took off from the Srinagar and Awantipur air bases.

She alerted the Indian pilots to the use of F-16s, which have better beyond visual range or BVR missiles than the Sukhois and the MiGs.

It was her alertness and instructions that allowed the Indian pilots to take preventive measures and escape the AMRAAM missiles fired by the F-16s.


Also read: Wing Commander Abhinandan being shot down is the real Rafale scandal


 

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28 Comments Share Your Views

28 COMMENTS

  1. I challenge all u porkies to answer my question!, your own ISPR chief had stated that ”they have captured 2 Indian Pilots and one is injured”. Where is the 2nd who according to ur ISPR was being treated in a Hospital?. This is the Pakistani credibility ur PM as well as ISPR held press conference without verifying facts. Any way respects to the Fallen F-16 Pilot. We know that u will always deny just like u denied involvement of your Army in Kargil. You didn’t even accepted bodies of your martyer soldiers. it is your true face.

  2. See that’s the difference i noticed, every Pakistani comment is bringing religion into this and acting like this is a war between Hindus and Muslims even using words like disbelievers. And another thing, people who are commenting that PAF did a surprising job by attacking in daylight must know that to perform operation in night you need special equipments. And to engage in dogfight in night requires some really advanced instrumentation which I doubt Pakistan has, considering they didn’t engaged in the night with the Mirages that crossed the LOC.

  3. Quran 2;105. It is never the wish of the disbelievers from among the People of the Book, nor of the polytheists, that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allah chooses for His mercy whomever He wills. Allah is Possessor of Sublime Grace.

  4. PAF dared to challenge IAF that it shall do something with India in day light and it did so in all respects. Downed your planes by trapping. Admit that Abhi None Done… You should wait Rafaels or F-35, Pakistan shall again repeat it insha’Allah. Long live Pakistan…

  5. PAF would never send their f16s to Indian airspace untill unless an all out war is declared. F16 were kept within Pak airspace all set to target air Bourne Su30s. Just like IAF would never send their Su30 to for front. They would also keep Su30 at a longer range to provide top cover with powerful radars and long range AAMs. Hence what is said in article is fabricated that Abhinandan was chasing an escaping F16. Secondly he himself admitted that he was in search of a ground target when he was shot. IAF has always said that they have given the proofs of PAF’s usage of F16s , in form of missile part and some other flight data, but it never proves that F16 was shot down too. Telling the truth is something really hard to find in Indian media but still if u people have got some undeniable proof then just show it rather than these fairy tales. Secondly, only one wreckage is seen to land in Pakistan , that was of Mig-21. If there were some other wreckage, the locals must have had recorded it on their cams.

  6. Indian media claims were very high and indian army was not that much prepared. It was infact Indian media which lost.
    War is very dangerous thing. Please correct your media and go for it. Pakistan army is bettle hardened army. Indian army was in difficult at kargil untill Israel came for help.
    There are a big difference JF is home made and indians are outsourcing. The only way is peace. Please understand

  7. The print is always plotting stories. No one from IAF will talk about internal operation language to press. Being from IAF I vouch for it. You print is becoming a joker.

  8. Another comical twist in Indian narrative, “Kill Shot!” to “Turn Cold”?? , Earlier you guys were quoting Govt sources at multiple times saying that the last message received from Mig21-bison before it went down was”Kill Shot!”. Got us wondering if the last message was received from Mig21, then how were the COMs jammed by PAF’s EW Aircraft. ?? Either they lied about the “Kill Shot!” claim then or they have cooked up another story of “Turn Cold” now.

  9. I am afraid that if modi sarkar or IAF claim that “nandoo shot down agosta submarine in the air of POK operated by Pak navy” Indians will believe it.

  10. The same self twisted indian story keeps popping up everyday ….but every version has utterly failed to answer simple logical questions: How Pk dared to openly challenge n then mount a smart response in broad day light contrary to indians playing in dark of night ?? How could Pakistan release Abhi None Done if he had shot Pk F16 ?? …Why did india came up with F16 story after abhi nadaan release ?? …if Pk succumbed to indian pressure, Why cant india get Col Kalbhoshan released the same way ??

    If Pk used F16s at all, they were used in very smart manner … The whole intelligence world knows the reality but indian public needs to be endlessly fooled by Modi !

    The tea is fantastic !

  11. Investigative reporting by the Print is to be applauded but writing skills may please be improved. How does it matter that “she” was a “young woman” officer? An Air Controller is an Air controller, female or otherwise. And aircraft are not “scampered” …. they are “scrambled.” “Scampering” is what insects do when they are caught by surprise by predators such as birds, and describes the act of bolting into a safe haven – the opposite of “scrambling” which describes the act of fighter aircraft rising to take on an enemy attacking force. On the substance of the article – that Wing Commander Varthaman could not hear the commands of the Air Controller due to radio jamming, there is also the other account that his radio message saying that he had locked on to an enemy aircraft with the R-73 was received; that would indicate that any jamming was not effective. It is possible that – in keeping with fighting tradition – he disregarded orders and made sure he nailed the enemy, even at the risk of being shot down. We are proud that he did so!

    • You nailed nothing . get your facts straight. you have been thoroughly humiliated in front of whole world. full stop.
      Abhi none done sir! but the tea is great!

  12. Hmm why did Abhinandan said that he was locking his target when he was shot downHe is brave man to admit his failure.We should all be.

  13. The nehru dynasty is responsible for keeping the IAF equipped with dynasourian planes. If Abhinandan and his comrades had rafales and SU 35s we can imagine what would have happened to the Pakis.

    • Dont you indians as a nation feel any shame while competing with a tiny nation 1/7th your size??? Ever??? How could a tiny terroristan bog your country and entire citizenry/leadership down in this current cesspool of India_Pakistan hyphenation??? Like Shekhar Gupta wrote in today`s article”Drown in Yumna`s polluted stinking filthy water if you have an iota of shame”!

  14. Initially it was claimed that his plane encountered a technical fault leading to its crash and pilot’s capture. Then we heard of two Pakistani F-16s shot down by the Indians. What about Abhinandan’s claim that he was ‘unsuccessful’ in his mission. Had he actually locked down and shot down an F-16, his mission would have been partially successful. But he never claimed that. Such a humble person he is. I hope he is brave man and was not under duress in the enemy territory.

    • Dont be surprised. This entire IAF saga which is devoid of any evidence/facts is in fact screenplay of their Uri-2 movie. Such a shameless and coward nation always competing with a country 1/7th their size and they never felt any shame for the last 70 yrs. Doob ker mer jao!

    • Evidence of F-16 being shot down?? Or all indians are adept in frying Pakoras in spit like you??? The famous phrase “Thook mein pakorey talna”!

  15. The author says there was no communication with Abhinandan and he could not be told that he was entering Pakistani Air Space, as his radio signals were jammed. If so then how did his last radio signal that R73 had been locked was radioed back, if there was no radio communication with him. Or was it the case that he was so enthused with the prospect of shooting down F 16 with Mig 21 that he ignored all warnings and went for the kill.
    This all shows how daring India pilots are vis a vis their Pakistani counterparts.
    But none the less IAF does suffer from some glaring deficiencies that can no longer be overlooked.

    • The article says communication from IAF Controller to the aircraft was “probably” jammed, although no sure shot claim towards this is made. It has never been said that the MiG-21 on operation could not communicate back to Controller Station.

    • If so then can you please ask your Army the whereabouts of the other pilot, who according to them was admitted to a Hospital on 27th Feb, only to be denied the same day…

      • Ever heard of “Fog of War”??. Also the need of “Evidence”???. Statement about 2 or 3 pilots was released during the fog of war and later corrected as per ascertaining of facts.

        So only question remains is Where is evidence of F-16 being shot down or 300 dead bodies??? Taking s!**t wont make up for facts!

      • The second pilot is dead in Pak custody. That is y Gen Asif Ghafoor said we have only one pilot in our custody, cuz the second one is dead. If a F16 were shot down, any civilian must have had recorded the wreckage video of the second jet. But only one wreckage landed on Azad Kashmir while one landed in IOK. The one landed in Pakistan was of Mig-21. Secondly article says that Abhinandan chased an F16. But no F16 crossed the LOC. It were JF17s which made the ground strikes. Remember F16 were used to patrol the Pak airspace for air defence. PAF would not send their f16s for strike if there is no war. Just like ur IAF sent mirages and mig-21 in Pakistan not Su30. Su-30 were back in IOK providing top cover to intruding mig21. But when they got AMRAAMS from already set f16s, they ran away leaving their for front holder mig21s. So u people better show some undeniable proof rather than these fairy tales.

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