IAF chief: Shooting down chopper on February 27 was a big mistake

Published: Oct 05, 2019, 09:30 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the Mi-17 aircraft in Budgam in the Kashmir Valley, killing six IAF personnel on board the chopper and a civilian on ground

The court of inquiry (CoI) ordered into the incident has completed its probe, said Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. Pic/PTI
The court of inquiry (CoI) ordered into the incident has completed its probe, said Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Friday described as a "big mistake" the IAF shooting down its helicopter in Kashmir on February 27, when Indian and Pakistani forces were engaged in a dogfight, and said disciplinary action is being taken against officers held responsible for the incident. A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the Mi-17 aircraft in Budgam in the Kashmir Valley, killing six IAF personnel on board the chopper and a civilian on ground.

The court of inquiry (CoI) ordered into the incident has completed its probe and it has been established that the helicopter was hit by IAF's own missile, Bhadauria, who took over as chief of the Air Force on Monday, said addressing his first press conference. "It has been established that the helicopter was hit by our own missile. We have already taken administrative action. Disciplinary action is being taken against two officers. We admit that it was a big mistake and necessary steps have been taken so that such incident does not recur," he said ahead of Air Force Day on October 8.

Administrative action has already been taken against four officers held responsible for the crash by the CoI. Separately, disciplinary action like court martial procedures are being initiated against two senior officers, IAF officials said. The probe found there were "vital gaps" in communication and coordination between ground staff and crew of the chopper.

Video clips of Balakot strike

Before the press conference, the IAF showed representational video clips of the Balakot strike. The video showed the story of airstrikes which IAF carried out on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot, Pakistan on February 26, earlier this year. Releasing the video, Air Chief Marshal Bhaduria said that the footage in the promotional video was not actually from Mirage fighter jets that launched an airstrike on the terror launch pad in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

07
No. of people including IAF staff killed in the strike

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