Pakistan’s F-16
HEADLINE WORLD

US contradicts India’s claim of downing Pakistan’s F-16: Report

India’s claim that its fighter pilot shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in a dogfight in February is wrong, Foreign Policy, a prestigious American magazine, said in a report quoting US defense officials.

“Two senior US defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy that U.S. personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing,”

the magazine said in a report published on Thursday.

India had claimed that in an aerial duel on February 27 – a day after its war planes dropped bombs in Balakot that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had engaged with one of the Pakistani fighter jets that targeted Indian military facilities and shot it down before he was hit and forced to eject.Varthaman was captured by Pakistan Army was returned to India amid attempts to de-escalate the crisis between the two sides.

The Indian Air Force had on February 28 displayed pieces of the AMRAAM missile, fired by a Pakistani F-16, as evidence. But that, by itself, does not offer any clues on whether Varthaman had shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16, as has been repeatedly claimed by the government and the IAF.

According to the Foreign Policy magazine, Pakistan invited the United States to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized.

“A US count of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet has found that all the jets are present and accounted for, a direct contradiction to India’s claim that it shot down one of the fighter jets during a February clash,” correspondent Lara Seligman of the magazine reported.

The count has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for”, an American official is quoted as saying. Share Facebook