27-Feb 2019: Video presumably of either an Indian MiG-21 or a Pakistani F-16 being downed. One or three parachutes?
28-Feb 2019: Increasing evidence suggests that Pakistani F-16s from No. 19 Squadron were involved in air combat. The aircraft in question maybe ex-Jordanian F-16B Block 20 MLU S/N 78-0269. Pakistan denies any of its F-16 were involved in the incident. However, AIM-120C-5 wreckage was found on the Indian Line of Control in Kashmir.
We will try and keep abreast of the situation.
Pakistan has returned the downed Indian MiG-21 pilot, so thankfully perhaps tensions are easing.
Information from ACIG:
"- yesterday, 26 February, the IAF hit three terrorist camps 50-80km deep inside Pakistan;
- this morning, the PAF attempted to hit back: according to the Indian government, a formation of its jets attempted to target one of the Indian Army's HQs.
- which, if true, would mean Pakistan has escalated the situation (since India acted in self-defense against a Pakistan-supported terrorist group, while the PAF attempted to hit a military target inside India without any reason).
- Now, in the course of that airstrike - which India says involved F-16s, Mirages, and JF-17s, while Pakistan says 'only JF-17s' or 'JF-17s and Mirages' - there was air combat: the PAF formation was detected on time, and MiG-21s scrambled from Srinagar AB.
- In the course of that air combat, the Indians claim one of their MiG-21UPG Bisons from No.51 Squadron (based at Srinagar AB) shot down a PAF F-16 before it was shot down. That's the official version. The unofficial Indian version is that one 'F-16' was shot down during that air combat; another by Su-30MKIs during another, further south.
- The Pakistanis say, 'there were no F-16s around', and instead claim their JF-17s from No. 14 Squadron have shot down one Su-30 and one MiG-21.
- The Indians say, this air combat, in turn,n prevented the PAF 'strike package' from reaching its target, and forced it to jettison its bombs over an empty area, 2-3km inside India.
So far, the available evidence is confirming the following:
- the IAF lost a Mi-17 helicopter this morning. This crashed about 190km away from the combat zone, i.e. deep inside India. But, reports in Indian social media are including photos showing a smoke trail, it is possible this was actually shot down in what would be a terrorist attack. The crew of four and two passengers were KIA.
- The IAF lost a MiG-21UPG C2823. This came down well inside Pakistan and the pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured alive (beaten by locals, but saved by the Pakistani Army troops).
If 'only' MiG-21UPGs and JF-17s were involved, then it is likely these were armed with R-73s/R-77s and PL-9s/PL-10s."
Video of downed Indian MiG-21 IBis 'Bison'