U.S. magazine report contradicts Indias claim of shooting down Paks F-16

U.S. magazine report contradicts Indias claim of shooting down Paks F-16

U.S. magazine report contradicts Indias claim of shooting down Paks F-16

The US generally requires the receiving country to allow its officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for.

"All aircraft were present and accounted for", Foreign Policy quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying following those inspections. "Electronic signatures gathered by us indicate that the PAF aircraft was an F-16".

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday refuted United States media reports claiming that none of the PAF's F-16 fighters was downed after an aerial dogfight on February 27, and said "electronic signatures" gathered on that day indicate that F-16 went down.

"The Indian Air Force is set to recommend the name of a young woman squadron leader for a medal for distinguished service after she showed exceptional courage to guide India's response to the air raid attempted by Pakistan on 27 February", reads a report published in the English daily Times of India, citing a source. Pakistani officials, as well as the locals, rejected the claims, inviting local and global media to visit the site of the so-called attack where around a dozen trees were the only "casualty".

Indian Air Force (IAF) has refuted the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) claims of recovering missile seekers heads intact while asserting that one of the missiles had exploded.

The US' sale of F-16 jets in 2008 included 500 AIM-120-C5 AMRAAMS.

USA and Pakistan have an end-user agreement over the F-16s, which allows the United States to inspect the fighter jets so that they are "accounted for and protected", the report said quoting an official.

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The publication said 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".

In one of the intercepts of the Pakistan's 7 Northern Light Infantry unit, the Pakistani soldiers could be heard saying that, "ye enemy ka jo tabah hua hai parinda, woh dono parinde wale pakad liye hain (the enemy plane which has been destroyed, we have been able to catch both the pilots from it)".

But on April 1, Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor for the first time indicated that F-16s might have been used to hit Indian fighter jets during the aerial combat on February 27.

The report contradicted the IAF claims, while Pakistan military urged its Indian counterpart to "speak the truth" about the "actual losses" in the dogfight. To substantiate its claim, India has also displayed parts of the AAMRAM missile which could only be loaded in an F-16 aircraft and which fell in Indian territory during the aerial engagement.

"As details come out, it looks worse and worse for the Indians", Narang said.

The US endorsement of Pakistan's version will add insult to injury as the earlier Indian claim of decimating the "largest terrorist training camp" in the Balakot area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has already fallen flat.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiralled in the wake of the 14 February suicide attack in Kashmir's Pulwama region, in which a convoy carrying Indian paramilitary personnel was targeted by a suicide bomber.

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