Home South Asia India Indian Air Force lost 27 aircraft in crashes since 2016

Indian Air Force lost 27 aircraft in crashes since 2016

This included the crash of the MiG-21 fighter jet which was being piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force planes on February 27.

Indian Air

News Desk |

Indian Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik has revealed in the Lok Sabha that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has lost 27 aircraft, including 15 fighter jets and helicopters, in crashes since 2016.

In the written reply in Lok Sabha – the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament – the minister stated that the quantum of provisional loss in 11 cases of crashes was approximately Rs524.64 Crore.

While quoting the figures from the minister’s reply, the Indian media reported that the number rose sharply in 2018-19 with the IAF losing seven fighter jets, two helicopters, and two trainers.

Pakistan had handed over the captured pilot to Indian authorities at the Wagah border in an attempt to de-escalate tensions after days of hostilities between the South Asian neighbors.

This included the crash of the MiG-21 fighter jet which was being piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force planes on February 27 in the wake of Pulwama attack in Kashmir. On the same day, the media reported, a Mi-17 helicopter also crashed killing six air force personnel.

In 2019-20, it added, an AN-32 transport aircraft has crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing 13 air force personnel earlier this month.

Pakistan Hands over Captured Indian Pilot

Pakistan had handed over the captured pilot to Indian authorities at the Wagah border in an attempt to de-escalate tensions after days of hostilities between the South Asian neighbors.

His release had come two days after he was captured following a rare aerial engagement between the nuclear-armed rivals. Pakistan’s foreign ministry had said that Varthaman was returned to India and that he was treated “with dignity” during his custody.

Read more: We are releasing IAF pilot tomorrow: PM Khan

“While in captivity, he was treated with dignity and in line with international law. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Imran Khan announced his return as a goodwill gesture aimed at de-escalating rising tensions with India,” a statement of the ministry had read.

“The Tea is Fantastic”

His polite refusal to give more details than necessary – “I am sorry major, I am not supposed to tell you this” – had won him particular sympathy in India. “The tea is fantastic, thank you,” was another expression which prompted an explosion of responses on social media in Pakistan.

CAA Extends Partial Airspace Ban till July 12

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended the restriction on its airspace for flights to India until July 12. The CAA had earlier restricted overfly and transit on Pakistani air space until June 15.

After the suspension on overflying operations, flights from Lahore to Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka, and Urumqi were canceled. Pakistan closed down its eastern airspace after a wave of tensions with India started in February.

Read more: Pakistan’s airspace to remain closed for transit flights

According to a CAA spokesperson, transit and overfly within Pakistani airspace will remain suspended until further orders. However, there are no restrictions on the operations on the country’s western airspace.

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