NEW DELHI – An Indian MiG-21 was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force on Wednesday, February 27. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed the loss of a MiG-21 Bison, shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during an engagement over the ceasefire line in Kashmir, a region that India and Pakistan have been fighting over since the 1940’s. The MiG-21 pilot was arrested.
It is still unclear how the aerial engagement unfolded. According to some sources, the IAF MiG-21 were launched in response to PAF strikes, earlier in the morning. Islamabad claims at least two IAF fighters crossed LOC and were both shot down by PAF fighters inside Pakistani airspace.
Indian authorities have confirmed the loss of just one fighter and India claims that a MiG-21 was able to shoot down a Pakistani jet that crashed in Pakistan. Such claim is not backed by any evidence yet though.
What remains unclear at this point is the type of jet that downed the MIG-21 Bison – some sources say it was an F-16 others say it was a JF-17 Thunder.
The JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed from a joint venture between the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. It’s considered a 4th generation fighter. If confirmed, this would be the first kill of an aircraft by the JF-17, although the Thunder shot down an Iranian spy drone in 2017.