Latest reports reveal that on 27th Feb, along with Su 30MKI, 2 MiG 21s were actually at a high risk of being shot down by agressive PAF F-16 Falcons.
Three F-16s were positioned and Two Mig-21 Bisons which were fast approaching for interception of this jets were already in AMRAAMs No Escape Zone (NEZ) when both pilots were ordered to fall back by Squadron leader Minty Agarwal who was fighter controller at the operation room. Abhinandan knew that both he and his wingman “Alpha-2” were in NEZ and with Radar lock warning light already lighten up in both the aircraft, they had to shoot or get shot down. That’s when Abhinandan decided to overfly his “Alpha-2” and go after F-16B “Alpha-3” which was positioned on his right, which by that time had already fired an AMRAAM after Mig-21 "Alpha-2” made a right turn to return. AMRAAM missed Mig-21 "Alpha-2” by a close margin as per the latest report and aggressive maneuvering caught the attention of the Second F-16 in the vicinity but before he could act, Abhinandan’s R-73 WVRAAM had got a missile lock on a heat signature which was that of F-16B “Alpha-3” which had just fired an AMRAAM at his “Alpha-2”. F-16B “Alpha-3” is the plane which was shot down by Mig-21 "Alpha-1” flown by Abhinandan but before he could turn and make a run for Indian side of LOC after entering 7km inside POK he was shot down by another F-16 with an AMRAAM just 58 seconds apart.
Latest revelations show that AMRAAM had missed its target even when the aircraft was in its NEZ in close-quarter combat and chances of it hitting Su-30 over 110km is completely bogus as claimed by Pakistan. So the total no. of AMRAAMs fired that day: 7
One on MiG 21 "Alpha 1"
One on MiG 21 "Alpha 2"
Five on Su 30MKI
Digital illustration by: Arjun Iyer
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