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Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman Awarded Vir Chakra For Shooting Down Pak Jet

Mumbai: Indian Air Force’s ace pilot group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind at an award ceremony on Monday.

He has been awarded the Vir Chakra for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during a dogfight on February 27, 2019, a day after the Balakot airstrike.

In the process, she flew over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and her MiG-21 was hit and had to move out of the enemy-controlled territory. After this, the Pakistani army took him into custody. International interference in the matter as well as widespread pressure from the Indian side forced the Pakistani army to release him.

“Abhinandan on the deployed strength of MiG 21 Bison Squadron from May 19, 2018. On February 27, 2019, at around 9 am a large force of Pakistan Air Force fighters, including advanced fourth-generation F-16s and JFS. -17, were found moving towards the LoC. At around 10 am, Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Varthaman Abhinandan was scrambled to stop the package,” the citation said.

“Displaying exceptional air combat acumen and knowledge of the enemy’s tactics, Wing Commander Varthaman Abhinandan scanned the low altitude airspace with his Airborne Intercept (Al) radar and picked up an enemy aircraft that was flying low to ambush the Indian fighter-interceptor aircraft. Wing Commander Varthaman Abhinandan alerted the other formation pilots towards this surprise threat. He then consolidated the riposte, by gathering his wingman in an offensive formation against the hostile Pakistani aircraft now dropping weapons on Indian Army positions. This audacious and aggressive maneuver forced the enemy aircraft into tactical chaos. All the enemy aircraft thereafter turned back including the rear echelon aircraft who were yet to launch their air to ground weapons,” it said.

“Wing Commander Varthaman Abhinandan then pursued a retreating enemy fighter bomber aircraft, and in the ensuing aerial combat, shot down an F-16 aircraft with his onboard missile. However, in the melee, one of the enemy aircraft fired multiple advanced BVR missiles, one of which hit his aircraft forcing him to eject in enemy territory. Despite being captured by the enemy, he continued to display exceptional resolve in dealing with the adversary in a stoic, brave and dignified manner till he was repatriated on March 1, 2019,” it said.

He said, “His actions boosted the morale of the Armed Forces in general and the Indian Air Force in particular. Wing Commander Varthaman Abhinandan displayed conspicuous courage, valour in the face of the enemy while disregarding personal safety and an exceptional sense of duty. performed. performed.”

“His actions raised the morale of the armed forces in general and the IAF in particular. Wing Commander Varthaman Abhinandan showed conspicuous courage, demonstrated gallantry in the face of the enemy while disregarding personal safety and displayed an exceptional sense of duty,” it.

India had launched an aerial strike on Pakistan’s terrorist facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on February 26.

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