On February 27, 2019, an attack package consisting of 24 PAF (Pakistan Air Force) aircraft headed for Kashmir, aiming to attack targets in Indian territory. It was retaliation and occurred the day after IAF Mirage 2000 fighters (Indian Air Force) bombarded an alleged terrorist training camp in Balakot with SPICE bombs.
The well-organized attack package violated Indian airspace and took the IAF by surprise. In response, the Indians managed to send 8 of their aircraft, departing from closer bases, in order to fight the enemy. However, only 1 Su-30 MKI fighter and 2 MiG-21 Bison met face to face with the enemy. The Su-30 and one of the MiG-21s returned to their bases after “fury blasts” from alleged Pakistani F-16 fighters. However, one of the pilots did the unthinkable: disobeying ground control recommendations, crossed the LoC ( Line of Control ) and entered enemy airspace.
From then on, there was a succession of facts that until the present date have not been properly clarified. It is true that the MiG-21 of the bold Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was shot down and that the real cause of that shot is still a mystery. The IAF, however, claims that, before Abhinandan ejected and was captured, it shot down an F-16 fighter using an R-73 missile.
A series of “proofs” - such as radar images from EW and ground aircraft, transcription of radio conversations between Pakistanis, testimonials from POK ( Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ) residents , videos showing two ejections, among others - was assembled by the Indian Air Force, but Pakistan strongly denies the loss of any aircraft, nor does it show evidence of the 2 Indian planes allegedly shot down (1 Su-30 and 1 MiG-21, both by J-17), nor as such clashes have occurred. Worse, at the beginning, Pakistan officially claimed the capture of 2 pilots and the non-use of F-16s in combat. A few days later, both claims were dismissed by the Pakistanis themselves.
From the list of Pakistani "tests" in this regard, the 4 missiles of the MiG-21 Bison from Abhinandan were presented - which, according to Pakistan, fell with the 4 missiles intact. The missiles were presented on top of 4 beds, in a low resolution photo. Then, other photos were shown by several sources, but with only 1 or 2 of the missiles in the same photo. However, recent research shows serious evidence of “fraudulent evidence” in ALL photos submitted as evidence. This is the main object of our analysis.
We will number the 4 missiles on tables 1 through 4, from left to right. Number 1: an almost intact R-73; number 2 is a fairly complete R-77; missile number 3 is a partially burned R-77; and number 4 is an R-73 that fell attached to the pylon and caught fire along with the fuselage wreckage. Based on a high-quality video (see below) taken at the site of the MiG-21 crash, we can identify various parts of these missiles in the wreckage.
relevant excerpt from the video “ Wreckage of Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison Shot Down By Pakistan Air Force ” published on the Media Talk channel (if you prefer, click here to watch the full video on YouTube).
Our goal is not to say what each missile is or is not - this Pakistanis have already done - but to show where each of the parts shown on the tables can be seen in the fall scenario.
Below, all parts of missiles 2, 3 and 4, amid the wreckage, as well as the ammunition of the GSh-23 cannon (compare the photos of the missiles with the parts that are in the beds).
Missile parts 3 and 4 appear in all official Pakistani photos, just as they were seen on the scene. However, no part of missile # 1 (R-73 Archer) can be seen in the video . Precisely the missile that the IAF claims that Abhi used to shoot down the F-16. In the photo of the beds, you can see an almost new R-73 . Did the Pakistanis go to the MiG wreckage and remove just one of the missiles from the scene? Not likely.
In another photo, you can see missile # 1, and part of its serial number. The serial numbers of the R-73, however, are 13 digits. The final two digits of the R-73's serial number were purposely covered with cloth , according to the analysis of the researcher and former Indian fighter pilot Sameer Joshi.
The scary thing is to know that a replica of the R-73 can be yours for $ 225.
In addition to the R-73 in question, the IAF does not allow any other missile to be fired by any of its fighters. That's where we have the “icing on the cake”. When analyzing the photos of the missile nº 2 (R-77 Adder), it is possible to notice strong signs of adulteration. The “million dollar question” is: why adulterate parts of a missile that the IAF confirms has not been fired, instead of just taking the parts that were in the wreckage and presenting them, as was done with the missiles 3 and 4?
When comparing the pictures of the wreckage with the pictures of the beds, it can be seen that some parts of the R-77, which appear in the official photos, have been replaced by pieces in better condition. In other words, they are not burned, as can be seen in the wreckage. The missile section, just after the warhead , looks like it has just left the factory, and the fins are very aligned for a part that has suffered a major collision. In the wreckage, no similar section could be seen.
When you look at the photo of the beds, you can see that the final section of R-77 nº 2 is not burned.
The time to resolve any doubts would be after the release of a high-resolution photo of the R-77 nº 2. The photo exists, but, for an undisclosed reason, it omits the rear section of the R-77. In short: there are 3 rear sections (where the directional fins are) for only 2 missiles.
Many theories can be created after finding an R-77 tampered with. Was Abhinandan shot down by his own wingman , whose name remains secret? Did Abhinandan fire an R-77 unsuccessfully, right after his wingman was attacked with an AIM-120 shot? Was Pakistan using Chinese copies of R-77 in its fighters?
All of these issues are unlikely. Most likely, the R-77 has been tampered with to validate the fake R-73, shown in the photo of the beds. Two very well-preserved missiles on the same side of the plane give the impression that, depending on how the plane hit the ground, the parts on the same side that came off after the crash were unaffected by the fire that destroyed the other parts of the aircraft .
But, what about the tail of the plane, the nozzle, the drift and the overflow tank? These parts fell elsewhere. There is a video (see below) of Shiv Shastry, an Indian military columnist, showing all these parts being collected and placed in a Pakistani military truck. No armaments where the other parts of the wreck are.
Relevant excerpt from Shiv Shastry 's video “ The Mystery of the Missing F-16 ” (if you prefer, click here to watch the full video on YouTube).
Finding out the truth of a kill in air combat is sometimes very complicated, which can last for decades. That is not our goal! However, very quickly and conclusively, India awarded Abhinandan Varthaman a “Vir Chakra” (India’s third highest honor for heroic deeds on the battlefield) in September 2019, for understanding that his action repelled a attack that was aimed at targets in Indian territory, and that it shot down an invasive aircraft.
By way of comparison, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the IAF credited the Ajjimada Bopayya Devayya, then pilot of Mystére, with the shooting down of a Pakistani F-104. He would go on to become a hero, for chasing a Starfighter, to help other IAF pilots who were being lured into a trap set by the PAF. Even with the recognition of the IAF and his fellow pilots, the referred pilot only received his “Maha Vir Chakra” (posthumously) in 1988. Ajjimada died after the fall of his Mystére in Pakistani territory, due to damage suffered in the fight against F- 104. Its merits were only recognized after India was quite sure of its achievements.
Thus, it is very difficult to believe that the Indian Government would act lightly in decorating Abhinandan without any evidence of what he did. Especially at a time when collecting evidence is easier and faster due to the technologies available.
In aerial combat, shooting does not always mean taking down. It's fact! However, with each new piece of information, it becomes clear that Abhinandan actually fired at least one air-to-air missile at opposing aircraft.
WE CREATE TOP CLASS CONTENT SPARING TIME FROM OUR PERSONAL LIVES. IT IS DIFFICULT TO MAKE SUCH CONTENT AS IT INVOLVES A LOT OF BACKGROUND RESEARCH.WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR A FORSEEABLE FUTURE AS WE ARE PLANNING TO BUY OUR OWN WEBSITE DOMAIN. IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT THAT WE SHOULD REMAIN FINANCIALLY STRONG TO BRING SUCH CONTENT. WE REQUEST READERS TO CONTRIBUTE SOME AMOUNT FOR OUR CAUSE.