U.S. count found no Pakistan F-16 jet missing

U.S. count found no Pakistan F-16 jet missing

U.S. count found no Pakistan F-16 jet missing

India's statement that its air force shot down one of Pakistan's USA -built F-16 aircraft during a military flareup in late February appears untrue, according to a report by Washington, D.C. -based Foreign Policy magazine, which cited two us defense officials it didn't identify.

The clarification came after American magazine Foreign Policy cited unnamed United States officials to claim that the F-16 fleet of PAF was counted and no jet was found to be missing. The 2 sightings were at places separated by at least 8-10 km.

"He (Modi) said we shot down their (Pakistani) fighter plane F-16".

The F-16 aircraft are manufactured by U.S. weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and have formed the backbone of Pakistan's air force for decades.

The aircraft count quashes the Indian claim that their pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down a PAF F-16 jet before his own MiG 21 was downed by a Pakistani missile in the Feb 27 air battle.

Highly placed IAF sources said they have clinching electronic evidence that there were 11 PAF 16s and one of them was shot down.

IAF said that on February 27, a day after the Balakot air strike, a large force of PAF jets comprising of F-16s, JF-17s and Mirage III/V were picked up by IAF radars trying to attack Indian military installations, which were intercepted by IAF Su-30MKIs, Mirage-2000s and Mig-21 Bison fighters guided by ground radars and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).

This is in contradiction to India's claim that it had shot down one Pakistani F-16 using the R-73 missile fired by Wg Cdr Varthaman.

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The investigation reportedly revealed that the pilots fought against the plane's own systems for nearly the entire flight. Recently released reports have shown that air traffic controllers lost contact just a few minutes after its departure.

When the incident occurred, India asked the usa government to investigate whether Pakistan's use of the F-16 against India violated the terms of the foreign military sale agreements.

IAF sources said that various eyewitness accounts from Pakistan, posted on social media platforms, also confirmed that two parachutes were seen coming down and two pilots were captured on the Pakistani side of the LoC.

A day earlier, two senior U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy magazine that U.S. personnel recently counted Pakistan's F-16s and found none missing. This was as per an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalised.

India claimed that it shot down a Pakistani F-16 during an aerial battle between the two countries on February 27 but the U.S. has debunked that claim.

Mr Pitroda, Indian Overseas Congress chief, had last month told media that one can not "jump on entire nation" (Pakistan) just because some people from there "came here and attacked".

In a statement to the Hindustan Times, US defence department reportedly said that the department, "weren't aware of any investigation like that".

The report went on to quote an unidentified senior defense official, who said "all aircraft were present and accounted for".

On February 26, India launched air attacks on Pakistani territory near the northern town of Jaba, claiming it had destroyed a JeM "training camp" housing "hundreds" of fighters.

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