Sunday, 23 January, 2022
HomeDefenceUS count finds all Pakistan F-16s accounted for, contradicts India’s claims, says...

US count finds all Pakistan F-16s accounted for, contradicts India’s claims, says report

A report by a US magazine stated that Pakistan had invited US to physically count its F-16s to counter India’s claims that it had shot down a jet in February.

Text Size:

Washington: A US count of the F-16s with Pakistan has found that none of them are “missing” and all the fighter planes were “present and accounted for”, according to a report in a prominent American magazine.

The finding by the US on the ground in Pakistan “directly contradicts” India’s claim that its air force shot down an F-16 fighter jet during an aerial dogfight on February 27.

The Indian Air Force on February 28 displayed pieces of the AMRAAM missile, fired by a Pakistani F-16, as evidence to “conclusively” prove that Pakistan deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir.

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

According to the Foreign Policy magazine, Pakistan invited the United States to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalised.

“A US count of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet has found that all the jets are present and accounted for, a direct contradiction to India’s claim that it shot down one of the fighter jets during a February clash,” Lara Seligman of the magazine reported on Thursday.

The count of the F-16 fighter planes in Pakistan has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for,” an unnamed defence official was quoted as saying by the magazine.

The Department of Defence did not immediately respond to a question on its count of F-16 fighter jets in Pakistan.

“As details come out, it looks worse and worse for the Indians,” MIT professor Vipin Narang told Foreign Policy magazine.

“It looks increasingly like India failed to impose significant costs on Pakistan, but lost a plane and a helicopter of its own in the process,” he said.

Generally, in such agreements, the US requires the receiving country to allow its officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected, the news report said.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the suicide bomber of JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

India launched a counter-terror operation against a JeM training camp in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.

Also read: India tells Pakistan won’t stop retaliation on LoC until covert raids & infiltration stop


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. I think our Pakistani gov is lying. My family lives in nowshera area they saw two pilots coming down.

  2. I am amazed that pakis are commenting on denial mode of india when they themselves dont acknowledge that they lost all wars against india…They army chief constantly changes statements….even they dont acknowledge gazi was destroyed by india…& Much more…theirs no doubt IAF crashed F-16..

  3. Within 24 hours of the dogfight and subsequent crashes, the Pakistani media sources posted pictures of the battered and stripped engine section of one of the jets. The IAF categorically said the engine didn’t belong to the Mig-21. Identification of the engine should be very straightforward. Neither Pak nor the US is talking about it – the US not coming out and saying that engine does not belong to an F-16. Why?
    After the US blockade of F-16s to Pak, Pak has been getting all its supplies and spares for the F-16’s from Jordan and Turkey. Pak could easily have got a replacement F-16 from Jordan or Turkey and no one would have noticed.
    The US is completely embarassed it lost a prized F-16 (which they tout as the world’s best air-to-air combat fighter) to an ancient Mig-21. They are afraid potential future buyers are going to suspect and question their claims and besides this, the US has a massive ego to protect.
    This was a magazine article probably planted by Lockheed, the maker of F-16s and not a claim by the US Military, Airforce or Intelligence.

  4. However bravely our pilots might have fared in the skies. IAF admins have performed rather poorly in their information sharing strategy since 27th Feb.

    All they are demonstrating to their adversaries by releasing this poorly compiled snippet of information now, is that they are just reacting and giving in to even private, unverified media pressure.

    IAF really need to up their information game. There is no excuse of ‘ageing infrastructure’ to be applied here.

  5. Lies by Indian government and military.
    1) first surgical strike.
    2) second air strike killed almost 300 + terrorists.
    3) Only accepting one IAF jet was shot down by PAF. Denying the second jet shot by PAF,
    4) IAF shot down F-16 of PAF.
    5) denying the report of USA experts the no PAF F-16 was shot by IAF.

    Does the nation of India deserve so much lies ? Toba toba.

  6. A lot of credible reports in the western media – which is neither an interested party nor bears any animus towards India – are casting a shadow on the official version. There is high quality satellite imagery as well. According to one hypothesis, the Spice 2000s sailed 33 metres over the target, because the wrong datum for calculating elevation was used. Whatever the internal political discourse, India’s adversaries – also our friends – would be evaluating our responses and capabilities.

    • Spice 2K’s use a combination of targeting technologies including videocam driven real-time visual ID of target before contact. Your claim of 33m (not 30 or 30m itself is too hilariously accurate to be true.) Desis unfortunately find any source from the west to be automatically more credible – it is a figment of the colonial enslavement burnt into Ashok’s DNA. No point arguing with someone who obviously has no self respect and confidence.

  7. Who would buy weapons from US if: (1) Vintage Mig21 downed F16. (2) If buyers are asked to follow restrictions on use of weapon. And if they are not followed, buyer gets a spanking from US.

    It makes no business sense to acknowledge loss of F16. In fact it does’t look good if US is inspecting Pakistani fleet itself.

    Also, Pakistan had a 2nd hand F16 deal with Jordan, what if the place downed was of Jordanian origin, or one of those were presented as US sold F16 in the audit? All it takes is to change the serial numbers and a few more adjustments and that could have been done on those ‘unavailable’ busy jets. One month is enough for that!

    • Buddy, what part of “ALL f-16 aircraft are present and accounted for” do you not understand? Even if Pak aquires them from Jordan they would still be under US watch since they require spares and upgrades from the US. Its not a toy that you can easily replace or change its serial no. Its time IAF provides some solid irrefutable proof.

      • Buddy, US Supply of F16 spares and upgrades to Pak are suspended – too bad u didn’t get the memo. No need to be snarky towards my buddy Kabir. If you cannot trust the word of your country’s armed forces please STOP calling it your country. You have a privilege you haven’t earned and these people protect your privilege. STOP questioning it and crawl back under the rock you came out of.

  8. LoL… Indian are completely in denial mode.

    All Indian newspapers including unfortunately ThePrint and defense reporter of ThePrint reported the planted news & lies of GOI. The newspapers and reporters need connections with Govts but they should not become part of their propaganda. Unfortunately this is happening in India, majorities of newspapers are almost directly controlled be GOI under Modi.

    • Pak invented “DENIAL MODE” – they live and operate in it 24×7. Actualy “DENIAL MODE” and “DOUBLE STANDARDS” are an ARTIFACT of ISLAM. Not a single country in the world believes a word uttered by anyone in Pak – not even their IRON BROTHERS China. Pak is a world PARIAH. India bombed Pak territory and NO COUNTRY in the world questioned it.

  9. More than Pakistan it is the US that would be embarrassed to acknowledge that its F 16 was shot down by a vintage Mig 21

  10. Accepting that, their “state of the art f-16” was shot down by an “obsolete mig-21” , is something that deeply hurts US ego and its claims of military superiority.
    Simply put, where is the 2nd pilot who was injured and was being taken to hospital?
    And why did Pak initially claim that absolutely no f-16 were used, which later became “used in defence”?

Comments are closed.

Most Popular