Minute by Minute details
9:52 AM – Indian Netra and Northern Air command (?) detected ten F 16 took off from 3 Airbases from Pakistan. They came in 3 groups and merged in attack formation near POK.
9:54: AM – India scrambled 2 Mig21 Bisons and 4 Sukhoi MKi to intercept 10 PAK F16
9.58 AM – India sounded alert to PAF fighters that, you are about to encroach Indian air space. Please evade.
9.59 AM – India sounded alert # 2, to PAF with IFAC protocols and they didn’t respond
10:00 AM - PAF violates Indian airspace. With Swarm merge attack formation (which is tactical in nature)
10:01 AM - Nine F 16 forced to deviate path and within 1 KM of airspace they returned to POK side after heavy surface to air ground artillery and valiant fight from our Sukhoi and MIGs.
10:02 AM - One PAK F16 went deep inside Indian territory probably 3 KMs to destroy an Oil storage at an Army Brigade HQ
10:03 AM – One IAF Sukoi and one Mig 21 Bison (Flt Lt Abhinandan Varthaman) continued engaging the F16 in a dog fight maneuver called “Defensive split”. Mig 21 was in the front, then F16 and then a sukoi. Due to firing from sukoi, F16 flee the scene using a dog fight maneuver called “Wingover”.
10:04 AM – Sukhoi hovered around oil field guarding it and Mig 21 Bison (Wg Cdr Abhinandan) chased F16 out of Indian territory. While chasing he engaged F16 in a lock-in position for his onboard R-73 air to air missile to be deployed.
Here you have to applaud the courage of Abhinandan. He could have returned to base. But if he returns to base then the missile lock in would have been disengaged (due to out of radar coverage) and he will not be able to shoot F16 down. So he decided to chase him down to POK and shoot him down.
10:08 AM – He engaged his R 73 missile that hit the F 16 and downed him
10:08 AM – After shooting him down he performed a highly dangerous maneuver called “High-g barrel roll”. He had to do this because he had been in the vicinity of PAK surface to air artillery and SAM. While doing so he has to vertically climb at high speed and reverse its direction towards India. While doing so his old outdated MIG 21 Bison’s engine thrust had a problem and he became almost non-maneuverable for few secs. And during that time either a SAM or air artillery hit his plane.
So people questioning his valour and skill should understand what has happened.
*Just upgrading radar and avionics doesn’t give you the edge.
It requires a huge piloting skills, ability and courage to down a F-16 with a Mig-21.
So Salute to Abhinandan