Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Tuesday led formation of the IAF's MiG-21 Bison on Air Force Day celebrations over Hindon Air Base near Delhi. Wing Commander Abhinandan had shot down a Pakistani F-16 in February before his MiG-21 was downed by enemy Air Force. Today, Abhinandan’s No. 51 Squadron will be awarded the unit citation by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. The unit will be awarded for thwarting the Pakistani aerial attack and shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during the dogfight on February 27.
Addressing the IAF personnel and their families on IAF’s 87th anniversary, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said, “Strategic relevance of this (Balakot airstrike) is the resolve of political leadership to punish perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in govt’s way of handling terrorist attacks”
“Present security environment in the neighbourhood is a serious cause of concern. The Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installation”, Air Chief added.
Moreover, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh landed in Paris on Tuesday for a three-day visit to France. He will receive first of the 36-Rafale jets on behalf of the Indian Air Force. Singh will take a sortie in a two-seater trainer version of the aircraft. All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022.