BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The Indian Air Force said on Thursday that their Mi-G-21 Bison fighter jet had downed a Pakistani F-16D warplane during an encounter near the Line of Control (LoC) that separates the Jammu and Kashmir regions on Wednesday.
According to Live Fist Defense, the downing of the F-16D on Wednesday marks the first time in history that an MiG-21 Bison fighter jet has downed this U.S.-made warplane.
“The MiG-21, from the Indian Air Force’s 51 Squadron ‘Sword Arms’ is said to have conducted the kill using a Russian Vympel R-73 close combat missile. The Indian Air Force today, as part of an effort to conclusively prove that it was a group of F-16 that led the sweep, produced evidence of an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile fired from the F-16, that likely brought down the MiG-21.”
The IAF also said it had captured electronic signatures of the aggressing aircraft, concluding that it was an F-16. While the Bison’s pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, two Pakistani pilots who punched out of the F-16D are currently unaccounted for. Pakistan has switched to claiming no loss after first announcing that it had shot down two Indian jets. The abrupt correction has led to the widespread belief that Pakistan initially believed it had shot down two Indian jets, but discovered only later that it was in fact an F-16D that had come down,” Live Fist Defense reported.
While F-16s have been shot down before (e.g. Israeli-Syrian incident), there have been no recorded instance where a MiG jet has shot down the former since its creation.