Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa flew a number of MiG-21 sorties in Sulur, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Though chiefs have flown fighters in the past as a morale-boosting gesture, Dhanoa’s latest act comes in the backdrop of ageing Soviet-era jet shooting down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) a far superior F-16 in aerial combat on Line of Control (LoC) in February this year.
Dhanoa undertook the sortie on the two-seat trainer variant version of the aircraft and followed it up with three solo flights on the MiG-21 Type 96, the oldest variant of the aircraft. Dhanoa had commanded 17 Squadrons (flying the Type 96) during Kargil War Operations. The shooting down of an F-16 by an IAF MiG-21 was hailed as a major achievement even though PAF is yet to acknowledge that it had taken a hit during the dogfight.
The MiG-21 flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhman had shot down the F-16 which was part of a large package of PAF fighters trying to cross the border in Jammu and Kashmir to drop bombs at military installations in retaliating to IAF’s bombing of terrorist training camps in Pakistan ‘s Balakot. Source: News18