By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 04, Oct 2019, 19:05 pm IST | UPDATED: 05, Oct 2019, 10:09 am IST
Delhi: Air Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Friday admitted that IAF shooting down its helicopter in Kashmir on February 27 was a "big mistake" and that punitive action is being taken against the guilty. Speaking on Mi-17 chopper crash in Srinagar, Bhadauria said, "On 27th February in the aerial battle after attack by Pakistan, Indian Air Force lost one MiG-21 and Pakistan lost one F-16." "Court of Inquiry completed and it was our mistake as our missile had hit our own chopper. We will take action against two officers. We accept this was our big mistake and we will ensure such mistakes are not repeated in future," the Air Chief. Disciplinary action is being taken against two officers in the shooting down of the chopper, the IAF chief said during his first press conference ahead of Air Force Day on October 8.
Further hailing the February 26 attack on Balakot terror camps in Pakistan, Bhadauria said that the IAF has achieved many milestones over the last one year. "Air Force has achieved many important milestones in the last one year including 26th February when we successfully targeted terror camps in Balakot," he said. The IAF is prepared to meet any contingency and does not rest on past laurels, Bhadauria said.
Bhadauria also said acquisition of Rafale aircraft and S400 air defence systems will greatly enhance IAF's operational capabilities. "Rafale and S-400 Air Defence missile system will further bolster the capability of the Indian Air Force," he said.
A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the Mi-17 aircraft in Kashmir's Budgam on the morning of February 27 when the Indian and Pakistani air forces were engaged in a fierce dogfight, a high-level probe had concluded in August.