JF-17, not F-16, used to shoot down MiG 21: CNN report
The JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China. The CNN report said an American diplomat said Washington wanted to know if Pakistan used a US-built F-16 jet to shoot the plane.
“It may have been one of those jets that on Wednesday downed an Indian Air Force fighter plane, leading to the capture by Pakistan of an Indian pilot [Abhinandan Varthaman]” said the CNN report.
The Indian fighter jet was a MiG-21, a Soviet-designed aircraft,which has been in use since the 1960s. The MiG-21 “forms the backbone” of the Indian Air Force, which has about 200 of those in its inventory, the report noted.
Indian pilots call MiG 21 “a flying coffin” because it had met several accidents
Nishank Motwani, a visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Acton, Australia, told CNN that Indian pilots call MiG 21 “a flying coffin” because it had met several accidents.
“And that illustrates a problem for India. While it has a massive military budget, a significant chunk of that goes toward maintenance of existing equipment, and salaries,” the report continued.
The report includes a quote from a recent inquiry by an Indian parliament committee, saying: “Modernisation gets a mere 14 per cent (of allocated funds), which is grossly inadequate.”
On Indian media’s report about the use of F-16 by Pakistan, the US Embassy spokesperson said,“We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information. We take all allegations of misuse of defence articles very seriously.”
The Pakistan’s military spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, refuted the reports of using F-16s in shooting down the Indian fighter jet when it crossed the Line of Control.
The United States often imposes restrictions on how its exported military hardware can be used through so-called end-user agreements.