MiG-21s are one of the oldest aircraft in the Air Force fleet. Most of them are on the verge of being phased out from the inventory of the Air Force. The aircraft played a stellar role in Kargil war by bombing enemy supply lines.
On February 26, IAF launched an attack on terror camps of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot, less than two weeks after the Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.
On February 27, a day after the IAF bombed the terrorist camps, PAF attempted to carry out an attack on Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was foiled by IAF pilots, who used specific manoeuvres on their MiG-21s to dodge the multiple AMRAAMs fired by PAF F-16s.
Varthaman had shot down an F-16 plane using a Russian air-to-air missile. However, his plane also crashed and he was taken into custody by the Pakistani Army after crossing over to the neighbouring country.
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