An Indian Sukhoi Su-30MKI delighted spectators at an air show outside Delhi, but may have caused considerable embarrassment to Pakistan, which claimed to have shot down the fighter jet more than six months ago.
Two of the Russian-made warplanes were spotted in the skies above Hindon Air Base, flying in formation as part of a celebration marking the 87th birthday of the Indian Air Force (IAF). According to NDTV, one of the aircraft, named ‘Avenger-1’, was the same jet that Pakistan boasted of destroying in a brief fracas back in February. The fighter jet was even piloted by the same “shot down” crew, the outlet reported.
According to Islamabad, the Su-30 fell from the sky in a battle on February 27, a day after the Indian Air Force bombed an alleged terrorist camp inside Pakistan. In the ensuing dogfight, India claims to have shot down an American-made F-16, before one of its own MiG-21 Bison’s fell to Pakistani fire. New Delhi firmly denied that one of its Su-30s were destroyed in the battle, accusing Pakistan of making the story up to cover for the loss of its American fighter jet.
The Air Force Day festivities included another swipe at Pakistan: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is credited with shooting down the Pakistani F-16, leads a formation of MiG-21 Bison.