14:09 GMT25 September 2020
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    Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in an air battle over Kashmir just a day after New Delhi’s alleged attack on a jihadist camp on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control on 26 February. The dogfight led to the downing of an Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 Bison and a Pakistani F-16.

    Advanced Russian-made Su-30 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) did not take part in the 27 February dogfight with Pakistani warplanes due to red tape-related problems, the Hindu reports.

    “Owing to the bureaucratic delays, we could not develop blast pens [reinforced shelters] for Su-30 MKIs near the Line of Control [LoC]. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanctioned the project only at the end of 2017”, the newspaper cited a defence source as saying.

    READ MORE: Pakistan: India Claims F-16 Was Downed for Political Gains as Election Looms

    The source added that as a result, the Su-30 jets were not deployed along the LoC, and “they were scrambled from behind to intercept the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets that tried to bomb Indian military installations”, with Soviet-made MiG-21 jets being “the first responders” during the aerial combat.

    A new escalation of Indian-Pakistani tensions culminated on 27 February, when the IAF’s MiG-21 Bison and the PAF’s F-16 were downed in a dogfight over Kashmir, a day after the IAF conducted an assault on an alleged terrorist base in the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, reportedly destroying several facilities.

    The air raid followed a suicide attack claimed by the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad on 14 February that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers.

    READ MORE: Indian Army Displays Parts of AMRAAM Missile Allegedly Fired From Pakistani F-16

    India blamed Pakistan for harbouring and protecting terrorists, and accused Islamabad of having a "direct hand" in the deadly incident – accusations that Pakistan vehemently denies.

    The SU-30 MKI, NATO reporting name Flanker-H, is the IAF’s elite fighter-bomber developed by Russia's Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.  The IAF got the first batch of such warplanes from Russia in 1996 and has since contracted 272 aircraft.

    Related:

    ‘No Question of Any Major Conflagration Between India, Pakistan’ – Def Analyst
    India, Pakistan Assert 'Calmness' at Border Amid Revival of Diplomatic Relations
    Pakistan Not Aware of Any Deal Barring Use of F-16 Jets Against India - Def Min
    Aerial Clash With Pakistan Has Exposed Chinks in India's Armour - Editor
    Tags:
    jihadist camp, delays, dogfight, warplanes, attack, F-16, MiG-21, Su-30MKI, India, Pakistan
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