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Indian Su-30s Shoot Down Pakistani Drone in Rajasthan

Indian Air Force’s Su30 MKI fighter jets on Monday morning scrambled to shoot down an unidentified object, assumed to be a Pakistani drone, after an intrusion attempt near Anupgarh in Rajasthan. IAF radars spotted the flying object, leading to the scrambling of jets from Bikaner and firing of air-to-air missile on it a 11:30 am.

Debris of the missile fell on Pakistan territory, a source said. The air action — not officially acknowledged by Pakistan at the time of going to press — pointed

to the edgy situation on the border since last week’s air strikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp at Balakot.

Reports from Pakistan showed unidentified debris near the area where the attempted intrusion took place. The make of the drone has not been established but Pakistan is known to operate armed drones. Sources said that the targeted object was not a small aircraft and appeared to be of medium or heavy category.

After the air strikes last Wednesday, the Pakistan Air Force attempted an intrusion in the same sector where the drone was shot down, the source said. The attempted intrusion involved a package of almost a dozen fighter jets which turned back after IAF jets scrambled for interception.

Incidents of drones being shot down are not uncommon on the India-Pakistan border but the scrambling of jets and use of missiles indicates that the IAF is not taking any chances. Pakistan’s Burraq drone is known to be armed and PAF has used them against terrorist targets within the country. It also operates the Italian origin Falco UAV and a number of lighter drones too.

Indian air defence network is on operational alert for incoming enemy aircraft since the strikes, with a Spyder anti-air missile system taking down a Pakistani drone over Kutch on February 26. All forward detection systems and counter-measures have been running at wartime frequency and combat jets have been moved to forward airbases. They include the Mirage 2000 fighter jets moved ahead from their Gwalior home base.

Source: Manu Pubby/Economic Times