Addressing the annual Air Force Day press conference, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria stated that one of the major achievements in the last few months was the Balakot Airstrike in Pakistan. While conceding that India lost a MiG-21, he reiterated that Pakistan had also lost the F-16. This has been a bone of contention between the two countries, with Pakistan refusing to accept the loss of its fighter jet. Furthermore, he observed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) was ready to meet any contingency arising out of uncertainties created by the changing geopolitical scenario.
#LIVE | IAF showcases Balakot strike story video at annual briefing, IAF Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria hails India successfully targeting Pak's Balakot terror camp as an important milestone https://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/7V9QedhsF1— Republic (@republic) October 4, 2019
He said, “On February 26 of this year, the Indian Air Force successfully struck terrorist camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted the Pakistani Air Force's attempt to attack our military establishment. In the aerial engagement that followed they lost an F-16 and we lost a MiG-21. In recent years, there have been major changes in the geopolitical environment leading to uncertainties that have created numerous challenges to national security. We in the IAF are always prepared to meet any contingency, that these challenges may pose against the defence of our nation.”
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria: On 27th February in the aerial battle after attack by Pakistan, Indian Air Force lost one MiG-21 and Pakistan lost one F-16. https://t.co/4jl9T6FICB— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2019
After 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred in the suicide attack carried out by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14 this year, India retaliated by striking its Balakot terror camp on February 26. Pakistan refused to admit any damage to the site and instead, tried to attack Indian military installations. However, on several occasions, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan betrayed the extent of paranoia and terror which the airstrikes had caused in his nation's military establishment circles. Recently, the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat revealed that the Balakot base camp had been reactivated.