India confirmed the loss of a MiG-21 Bison and said its pilot was missing in its first official response to the air space violation by Pakistan on Wednesday.
India said the IAF responded successfully and foiled the incursion by the Pakistan Air Force.
The statement was made in a media briefing by the external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar and Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Kumar said India had on Tuesday informed about the counter terrorism action it undertook on Tuesday on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot based on intelligence the terror group had planned more attacks. India’s strike came amid heightened with its neighbour after Pakistan-based JeM took responsibility for the 14 February terror attack in Pulwama.
“Pakistan responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations in India,” Raveesh Kumar.
Kumar said the Pakistan Air Force was detected instantly and foiled successfully by the Indian Air Force. In the aerial engagement, Kumar said the one PAF aircraft was shot down by MiG-21 Bison of the IAF and was seen falling on the Pakistani side.
The IAF lost a MiG 21 Bison and the pilot of aircraft is missing in action, Kumar said.
“Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” he said.
Kumar and Kapoor did not take any questions from the media after their briefing.
Here’s the full text of India’s statement:
“India had informed about counter terrorism action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this counter terrorism action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully.
The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.”