An Indian journalist has released a video that allegedly records part of the dogfight between the Indian and Pakistani fighter jets, which led to aircraft losses and the capture of an Indian pilot by the Pakistanis. Specifically, in this case, the video allegedly refers to the shot down Pakistani F-16 (other sources report that it is a Pakistani Chinese designed J-10 Fighter).
Indian media, however, have released a photo (above) of what appears to be a downed F-16, which however is fairly intact after supposedly having plummeted from the skies. In fact, after investigation defence-point has ascertained that the photo shows a USAF F-16C assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing that attempted to land and failed, at Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. on 24 April 2018, during a routine training flight.
According to the IAF, the MiG-21 that was shot down on Feb. 27, 2019, was part of a formation of 8 Indian fighters which included four Sukhoi 30s, two upgraded Mirage 2000s and two MiG 21 Bisons that were dispatched to engage a package of 24 PAF jets that included eight F-16s, four Mirage-3 aircraft, four JF-17 “Thunder”.
To prove its version and the presence of F-16s, the IAF showed parts of an AIM-120C5 AMRAAM air-to-air missile, which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s, recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory.
The MiG-21, from the Indian Air Force’s 51 Squadron ‘Sword Arms’ is said to have conducted the claimed kill using a Russian Vympel R-73 close combat missile, according to livefistdefence.com. If true this may be extremely important in assessing the capabilities of upgraded legacy aircraft.
“The MiG-21 Bison is an upgraded version of the Russian-made baseline MiG-21. Although the design is obsolete, its low radar visibility, instantaneous turn rate and acceleration, and the helmet mounted sight combined with high-off-boresight R-73 air-to-air missiles are among the factors that can make the upgraded MiG-21 a threatening adversary, even for more modern fighters,” notes David Cenciotti writing for the Aviationist.
The engagement took place in the border area between the two nuclear powers in the disputed area of Kashmir. The video shows an explosion and the fighter pilot ejecting to land, having successfully left his aircraft. The Indians claim that the pilot (Wing Commander Shahzad-Ud-Din / No 19 Squadron [Sherdils]) lost his life, but Pakistan has not confirmed the incident.
Some question this version by saying that the video shows the MiG-21 Indian pilot who was arrested by the Pakistanis! An interesting but not cross-referenced version, is a reference by Indian media that the pilot of the Pakistani fighter who was shot was beaten by his fellow countrymen as they thought he was Indian!
Now its time when pakistan should admit and share details of its Wing Commander Shahzad-Ud-Din of No 19 Squadron (Sherdils), pilot of the F-16 who was killed in @IAF_MCC action in Nowshera sector LoC#Surgical_Strike_2 pic.twitter.com/FXMGyuBk5m
— Ajay Jandyal (@ajayjandyal) February 28, 2019