The United States (US) defense personnel recently counted Pakistani F-16 fighters and found none of the jets missing, contradicting India’s claim that it had downed a Pak F-16 during the aerial combat between the countries in February.
“Pakistan invited the US to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized,” Foreign Policy quoted a US defence official with direct knowledge of the count conducted on ground on Pak soil as saying Thursday.
In such agreements, America requires the receiving country to allow its officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected.
“Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took US personnel several weeks. The count has been completed and all the (F-16) aircraft were present and accounted for,” the official added.
“US authorities on the ground found that no Pakistani F-16s were missing,” said another official.
According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet before his own plane, a MiG-21 Bison was downed by a Pak missile during the aerial battle, reported Foreign Policy.
It is possible that in the heat of combat, Varthaman got a lock on the Pakistani F-16, fired, and genuinely believed he scored a hit, the report said.
The skirmish followed a day after India carried out a surprise air strike in which an AWACS aircraft guided IAF’s 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets bomb multiple Pakistani camps operated by a terror group after it claimed responsibility of attacking Indian soldiers on 14 February in Pulwama, martyring nearly 40 of them.
Pakistan has been denying India’s claims that F-16s were used in the combat. However in early March, a joint press conference was held by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force where pieces of F-16 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) were displayed before the media as the evidence that falsified Pakistani claims of not using F-16 fighters.
The US’ sale of F-16 jets in 2008 included 500 AIM-120-C5 AMRAAMS.
India asked the US government to investigate whether Pakistan’s use of the F-16 against India violated the terms of the foreign military sale agreements.
“It would be incredibly naive for us to believe that we could sell some type of equipment to Pakistan that they would not intend to use in a fight,” the second official said.
According to a report published in March by Express Tribune, Pakistan is not restricted to use F-16 fighter jets against any nation other than the United States and its NATO allies.
The Indian Air Force on Thursday displayed a portion of Raytheon manufactured AIM-120C-5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) claiming it as an evidence that Pakistan engaged its F-16 fighter jets in the recent airstrikes in Indian airspace. In a joint press conference by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, pieces of F-16 AMRAAM air-to-air missile was displayed before the media as the evidence that falsified Pakistani claims of not using F-16 fighters to target India
Pakistan will release captured Indian Air Force MiG-21 pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as a good will gesture on on 1st March, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced addressing a joint parliamentary session on Thursday. Imran stated that Pakistans desire for de-escalation should not be confused for weakness
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) may have used Chinese origin JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and not US-made F-16s in its dogfight with Indian MiG-21 Bison aircraft which led to one of the latter being downed and its pilot captured this morning. While an Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson in an official statement stated that Indian fighter jets chased and brought down a Pakistani aircraft which was noticed going down
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today confirmed shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet using an Indian Air Force MiG-21 while losing another MiG-21 during the engagement. “The Pakistan Air Force targeted Indian military installations this morning
The Indian Air Force has claimed to have shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet in retaliatory fire 3 Kilometers within Pakistan territory in Nowshera sector. Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian aircraft ‘inside Pakistani airspace early this morning after the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated claiming that it undertook the strikes across the LoC from within the Pakistani airspace
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Pakistan Navy test-fired a domestically developed unindented cruise missile in the north Arabian sea on Tuesday. "The indigenously developed cruise missile has anti-ship missile and land attack capability," Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces, said in a statement Tuesday
Pakistan is set to ink a deal with Egypt for a batch of Mirage 5 fighters. The contract with Egypt had been under negotiation for a couple of years, and now PAF is set to receive the fighters belonging to the Egyptian Air Force
Pakistan has been certified to build and conduct repair works of Swedish firm SAABs Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), according to a report published Wednesday. "Pakistan Air Force is the only Air force in the world to have the certification to repair Swedish AWACS,"
Pakistan on Saturday displayed missile parts, which it claimed are remains of all four missiles carried by an Indian MiG-21 aircraft which crashed in Pakistans territory after the Feb 27 clash. A photograph posted
The United States Department of Defense on Friday said it was “not aware” of any counting of Pakistani F-16 aircraft to ascertain if the country had lost one in an aerial fight that ensued with Indian fighters on February 27. On Thursday, a report by
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