Home / News / India /  IAF scrambles jets to ward off Pakistani F-16s

NEW DELHI : India on Monday scrambled Sukhois and Mirage jets to ward off a possible intrusion by Pakistani fighter aircraft, a news report said.

This comes just over a month after Indian and Pakistani fighter jets were engaged in a dogfight in Kashmir after Indian jets bombed a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 26 February.

“At 3 AM today, Indian radars detected a large sized UAV & package of 4 Pakistani F-16s flying close to Indian border in Khemkaran sector in Punjab. India scrambled Su-30MKIs & Mirage jets in response after which the Pakistani jets retreated further into their territory," said a Twitter post by news agency ANI.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Indian Air Force in New Delhi.

On 27 February, India had scrambled Sukhois and MiG Bison jets to ward off a Pakistani air intrusion in Kashmir. Indian officials later said the Pakistani F 16 fighter aircraft were targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir but did not cause any damage despite dropping their weapons — having missed the target.

Pakistani jets did shoot down an Indian MiG Bison aircraft piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was taken captive by Pakistani authorities after he bailed out of the aircraft and landed in Pakistan administered Kashmir.

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since the 14 February Pulwama attack in which 40 Indian security men were killed in a suicide explosion. The Pakistan based Jaish e Mohammed terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

Pakistan has kept its airspace out of bounds for overflight except for a few routes with news reports from Pakistan indicating that the suspension of overflight was likely to be in place till India’s elections were complete on 23 May. 

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