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‘Indian missile fired before Budgam chopper crash’

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Srinagar, Mar 29: The initial investigation into the Budgam air crash has revealed that Indian air defence missile was fired shortly before the crash of Mi 17 V 5 helicopter in Budgam area of central Kashmir following an air battle between air forces of India and Pakistan on February 27, media reports said.

The air crash resulted in death of six Air Force personnel and a citizen on ground.

‘Economic Times’ reported on Friday that the final moments preceding the crash, including if the IFF (Identity, Friend or Foe) systems were switched on or not, are being carefully looked at to determine what went wrong.

The report quoting Air Force brass said that the Air Force high command would not shy away from initiating court martial proceedings against personnel if they are found blameworthy in the inquiry.

The ‘Economic Times’ report said that the missile, believed to be of Israeli origin, was activated after an air defence alert was sounded over Jammu and Kashmir, besides other parts of the border, “after over 25 Pakistani air force jets were detected along the border on the morning of February 27”.

“The alert indicated that Pakistani jets may be trying to breach the border for a strike on Indian military targets and there were concerns that armed UAVs available with that country may also have been deployed. A slow moving target like the Mi 17 V 5 helicopter could potentially be mistaken for a low flying armed UAV homing into an air base,” the report said.

The report said that all angles are being probed to determine if lapses took place and where.


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