“India’s claim that one of its fighter pilots shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in an aerial battle between the two nuclear powers in February appears to be wrong. Two senior U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy that U.S. personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing.”, reads an article in US magazine Foreign policy.
“The findings directly contradict the account of Indian Air Force officials, who said that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman managed to shoot down a Pakistani F-16 before his own plane was downed by a Pakistani missile”, wrote Lara Seligman for Foreign Policy.
She also claims that Abhinandan might have got a lock on the F-16 and in the heat of battle, fired, and assumed he had scored a hit.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Saturday denied the magazines report. “Air Force has given proof on it with electronic signature of F-16.”.
She also added that the part of the AM-AARM missile was only used in F-16. “How else could it have been found in India?”, she enquired.
She called the report baseless and source-based. She also slammed the opposition for asking for proof and undermining the defence forces.