Sunday 26 June 2022
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Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down Pakistani F-16 with vintage MiG, gets Vir Chakra

Abhinandan Varthaman was part of 51 Squadron of the IAF that thwarted an aerial attack launched by Pakistan to avenge the Balakot airstrike

Indian Air Force’s hero of a memorable dogfight, Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra today by President Ram Nath Kovind in an investiture ceremony for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft on 27 February 2019.

Abhinandan Varthaman was recently promoted to the rank of Group Captain. Abhinandan shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during aerial combat on 27 February a day after the Balakot airstrike.

In the process, he flew over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and his MiG-21 was hit and he had to eject over the territory controlled by the enemy.

He was then taken into custody by the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Army was forced to release him under pressure exerted by India that invoked international intervention into the matter and made the global community condemn Pakistan.

Abhinandan alerted the other pilots towards the surprise threat. he then consolidated the riposte against the Pakistani aircraft dropping weapons on positions. With this act, all the enemy aircraft turned back. ABhinandan then pursued a retreating enemy fighter bomber aircraft and in ensuing aerial combat, shot down an F-16 aircraft with his onboard missile. However, in the process, one of the Pakistani aircraft fired multiple times, forcing him to eject in enemy territory.

Despite being captured by the territory, he continued to display exceptional resolve with the Pakistani forces bravely and stoically.

The Pakistan Army was forced to release him due to the extensive pressure exerted by the Indian side along with international intervention into the matter.

Abhinandan Varthaman was part of the Srinagar-based 51 squadron and had flown to thwart an aerial attack launched by the Pakistanis on 27 February 2019.

He was recently promoted to the rank of Group Captain.

India had launched an aerial strike on Pakistan’s terrorist facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on 26 February.

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