Watch: Wing Commander Abhinandan gets Vir Chakra for indomitable bravery

By: |
November 22, 2021 3:41 PM

The IAF officer was part of 51 Squadron and was posted at Avintapura Air Base near Srinagar, when he was flying and had shot down the Pakistani Air Force fighter jet. He is the son of a former IAF officer.

Showing indomitable bravery, Wing Commander shot down Pakistan's F-16. (Images: ANI)

For shooting down a Pakistan F-16, in February 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday honored Air Force Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman with the Vir Chakra. He received the award as a Wing Commander, and now he is a Group Captain in the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Why did he receive this award?

The IAF fighter pilot received this award for his display of indomitable courage against Pakistan.

The day he downed the F-16 of Pakistan Air Force, Wing Commander Abhinandan was flying a MiG-21 fighter plane, and he also prevented a Pakistani Air Force (PAF) plane from entering Indian Territory and airspace.

A day after the Balakot airstrike by IAF, on February 27, 2019, a Pakistani Air Force (PAF) plane tried to enter the Indian airspace and Wing Commander Abhinandan who was flying MiG-21 at the time chased him. During the chase MiG-21 was hit and Wing Commander Abhinandan had to eject out and he landed in the territory under the control of Pakistan.

The IAF officer was part of 51 Squadron and was posted at Avintapura Air Base near Srinagar, when he was flying and had shot down the Pakistani Air Force fighter jet. He is the son of a former IAF officer.

Story of courage

Showing indomitable bravery, Wing Commander shot down Pakistan’s F-16. Later, Abhinandan’s plane crashed in the Pakistan border area and he was taken prisoner by the Pakistani army. He was released after being held captive for almost 60 hours after global pressure as well as India’s diplomatic pressure.

The Chase

When he was chasing the enemy plane, Wing Commander Abhinandan sent a message through secure radio ‘I chase it, it is my victim’.

Dog Fight

The chase lasted for around 86 seconds through the airspace and at a speed of 1 km for every four seconds in the air. And 900 km in an hour and the Dog Fight as it is known in the IAF parlance went up to a height of 26 thousand feet.

The chase ended with Wing Commander Abhinandan firing a missile which destroyed PAF’s F-16.

What led to the Balakot strike?

In February Terrorists operating out of Pakistan soil in a suicide attack blew up a bus of security personnel in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. In response to this attack, India carried out the airstrike in Balakot, when fighter planes of IAF crossed the Line of Control and bombed the terrorist camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). In this operation 12 Mirage planes were involved.

Where was IAF’s attack?

On February 26, 2019, the aerial attack by India was launched on Pakistan’s terrorist facility which was located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This facility was being run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

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