NEW DELHI: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Tuesday flew MiG-21 Bison Aircraft over Air Force Day parade at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 87th anniversary in a mega event at the Hindon Air Force Station today.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and IAFChief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria were present at the event.
“Indian Air Force is grateful for the nation's trust and confidence in us and the support provided. On behalf of all air warriors, I assure the nation of our sacred resolve, defending the sovereignty of our skies and safeguarding our national interest at all cost”, Air Force Chief Bhadauria said.
In the event 3 Mirage 2000 aircraft and 2 Su-30MKI fighter aircraft flew in ‘Avenger formation’ and these planes were flied by pilots who took part in Balakot airstrike.
Air Fighter Pilots who took part in Balakot airstrikes have been included in the parade as a mark of tribute to the teams which carried out the strike on February 26 and thwarted the Pakistani aerial attack on February 27, reported ANI.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force had shot down a Pakistan F-16 fighter jet during an aerial fight with Pakistan on February 26.
On February 14, an explosives-laden truck rammed into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama outside Srinagar, killing 40 soldiers in one of the biggest terror attacks in recent years.
The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.
Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was caused by a suicide bomber.
On February 26, Indian Air Force (IAF) had attacked terror camps in Balakot area in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The airstrikes come 12 days after the dreaded terror outfit-Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) carried out a debilitating attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14.
A day later, Pakistan fighter jets violated Indian airspace and the aerial fight ensued.
Abhinandan had strayed into Pakistan territory after shooting down the F-16 during a dogfight that had taken place on February 27. His own aircraft, a MiG-21 Bison, had been hit by a missile forcing him to eject from the fighter jet before it crashlanded in Pakistan.
Pakistani security forces had captured Abhinandan but released him on March 1st to India at the Wagah border.