DG ISPR’s Tweet Adds Insult to India’s Injury

Pakistan has delivered what some are saying ‘the death blow’ to the Indian claims of shooting down PAF’s F-16 fighter Jet during the dogfight of February 27th.

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that all four missile seeker-heads have been recovered from the MiG-21’s crash site. The same Mig-21 from which the Indian pilot Abhinandan ejected out of. Asif Ghafoor also shared a picture of the wreckage of MiG-21’s armament. He said that the Pak Armed Forces remained humble and avoided self-acclamation after the skirmish.

MiG-21’s Hardpoints

MiG-21 Bison typically has 5 hardpoints. Hardpoints, also known as a weapon station, are places on an airframe that can carry external loads which, in case of fighter aircraft, can be missiles, bombs, special pods or the External fuel tank (EFT). Usually, the hard point on the belly of the aircraft carries the EFT and the wings carry missiles.

IAF’s MiG-21 uses Russian Made R73 and R77 air to air missiles for short and long ranges respectively. The picture shows the reassembled/rearranged pieces of missiles on board the crashed MiG-21 Bison that remained unfired. The EFT on one of the hard point was also identified clearly in the pictures of the crash site.

R-73 in front of an R-77 missile
An IAF Mig 21 carrying the Air to Air Missiles during AeroIndia 2005, Bangalore, India

The timing of the tweet has added insult to injury for India as yesterday, an article in Washington DC-based magazine “foreign policy” also revealed that all of the Pakistani F-16 inventory was accounted for. Yet Indian Authorities denied the report. However, the finding of all the four missiles has negated all Indian claims and made the Pakistanis proud.

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