India on Tuesday refuted reports that Pakistan had shot down a Sukhoi-30 aircraft of the Indian Air Force during an aerial skirmish on the morning of February 27. The “false claim” appeared to be a “cover-up for loss of [Pakistan Air Force’s] own aircraft”, the Defence Ministry said.
Aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force had violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27, a day after the Indian Air Force struck a camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group in Balakot in Pakistan. Pakistan had claimed it had chosen “non-military targets” and only meant to show its capability. However, India had said that Pakistan had targeted military installations.
In the dogfight that followed, both sides claimed to have shot down each other’s jets. Pakistan had claimed that it had shot down two Indian jets, and unconfirmed reports said one of them was a Sukhoi-30.
On Tuesday, India said all the Sukhoi-30 aircraft engaged in the combat had landed back safely.
“From IAF side, Mirage-2000, Su-30 and MiG-21 Bison aircraft were involved in the engagement and PAF aircraft were forced to withdraw in a hurry, which is also evident from large missed distances of the weapons dropped by them,” the Defence Ministry said.
“Prompt and correct tactical action by Su-30 aircraft, in response to AMRAAM launch, defeated the missile. Parts of the missile fell in area east of Rajouri in J&K, injuring a civilian on ground,” the ministry said.