Pakistan on Saturday displayed missile parts, which it claimed are remains of all four missiles carried by an Indian MiG-21 aircraft which crashed in Pakistan’s territory after the Feb 27 clash.
A photograph posted on twitter by Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) shows four missiles; two R-73 and two R-77. These are Russian-made missiles are commonly used in the MiG-21 and other Russian-origin fighter jets.
“IAF’s claim of hitting F-16 by their MiG-21 before having been shot down by PAF gets exposed. All 4 missile seeker heads recovered intact from the wreckage & held,” Ghafoor’s tweet reads.
According to a report by Daily Pakistan, the disclosure negates India’s repeated claims that its MiG-21 Bison had fired at, and shot down, a Pakistani F-16 aircraft before being shot down itself.
IAF said in a statement that the last missile on the right hand of the picture shared by Ghafoor had in fact exploded, according to various Indian media.
Last Thursday, US magazine Foreign Policy reported that Pentagon officials counted Pakistani F-16 fighters and found none of the jets missing, “directly contradicting” India’s claim of bringing down a Pak F-16 during the aerial dogfight.
Defense Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday, “It was an F-16 which our pilot had shot down. We displayed a piece of the AM-RAAM missile as evidence. It can only be used in an F-16 aircraft.”
"We (IAF) have more credible information that is clearly indicative of the fact that Pakistan lost one F-16 on February 27. Due to security concerns, we are restricting information being shared in public domain," Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said Monday.