JF-17, not F-16, used in air combat: report

Published March 4, 2019
The JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China. — APP/File
The JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China. — APP/File

WASHINGTON: Apparently, it was a JF-17 fighter jet that brought down an Indian warplane in Azad Jammu and Kashmir last week, says a CNN report as an American diplomat said Washington wanted to know if Pakistan used a US-built F-16 jet to shoot the plane.

The JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China.

“It may have been one of those jets that on Wednesday downed an Indian Air Force fighter plane, leading to the capture by Pakistan of an Indian pilot” Abhinandan Varthaman, said the CNN report released this weekend. The report also noted that the Indian jet was a MiG-21, a Soviet-designed aircraft, which has been in service since the 1960s. The MiG-21 “forms the backbone” of the Indian Air Force, which has about 200 of those in its inventory.

Nishank Motwani, a visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Acton, Australia, told CNN that Indian pilots called the plane “a flying coffin” because it had been involved in multiple accidents.

“And that illustrates a problem for India. While it has a massive military budget, a significant chunk of that goes toward maintenance of existing equipment, and salaries,” the report added.

The report included a quote from a recent inquiry by an Indian parliament committee, saying: “Modernisation gets a mere 14 per cent (of allocated funds), which is grossly inadequate.”

A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Islamabad told the Reuters news agency on Sunday that the United States was “seeking information” on whether Pakistan used US-built F-16 jets to down the Indian warplane, which may violate the F-16 sale agreements between Washington and Islamabad.

Pakistan said it did not use F-16s in shooting down the Indian fighter jet when it crossed the Line of Control. Islamabad also said that this was an act of self-defence.

“We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” the US Embassy spokesperson said. “We take all allegations of misuse of defence articles very seriously.”

The US often inserts restrictions on how its exported military hardware can be used through so-called end-user agreements.

India claimed that AIM-120C-5 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile had been fired recently, showing that F-16 Viper fighter jets were “at least involved” in recent strikes in the region. Pakistan rejected the Indian claim as completely baseless. India also claimed that it shot down one of the Vipers.

Pakistan rejected this claim as well, saying that since it had not used any F-16 jets, the question of one being shot down did not arise.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2019

Opinion

De-programming the robot
25 Jul 2021

De-programming the robot

The robot that is programmed to be a predator, to dominate, to hurt, to rape, to kill, will do as he pleases, where he pleases...
A toxic discourse
Updated 25 Jul 2021

A toxic discourse

Politics as it exists now is a catalyst for further divisions...
Cyberespionage
25 Jul 2021

Cyberespionage

Sellers of surveillance tools must be held accountable...
Managing human agency
24 Jul 2021

Managing human agency

Is the private sector able to manage the ‘human agency’ of teachers better than the public sector?...

Editorial

Noor murder case
Updated 25 Jul 2021

Noor murder case

IT would not be an exaggeration to describe Pakistan as no country for women. This truth was underscored yet again...
25 Jul 2021

Rental inflation

HOUSE rent prices soared in June by 6.21pc from 4.2pc a year ago, topping the list of 10 contributors to the urban...
Cyberattack on rights
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Cyberattack on rights

A COLLABORATIVE investigation into a data leak of software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has ...
24 Jul 2021

Sleeper cells

THERE was a time not too long ago when militant groups had unleashed a reign of terror in Pakistan, resulting in...
24 Jul 2021

Prisoners’ return

THE families of 62 Pakistani prisoners who had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia had reason to rejoice this Eid as...