The Balloon shot down by IAF came from Pakistan: Govt sources

The Indian Air Force detected an unidentified balloon like object on Tuesday on the 67th Republic Day shot down by a fighter aircraft over the Barmer district, Rajasthan. The balloon seemed to have come from Pakistan to possibly test India’s response.

A government top official said that the Indian Air Force spotted a Sukhoi-30 warplane and deployed armed Mi-17 helicopters in response to the radar signals, picking up balloon like unidentified object between 10.30 am and 11 .00 am. The incident took place while the Republic Day parade in Delhi was in progression.

The defense minister Manohar Parrikar said, “Our radars picked up a shiny flying object entering Indian airspace. A fighter jet was quickly scrambled which intercepted it and shot it down”.

The rounds shot at the balloon were from fighter’s 30mm GSh-301 auto cannon. Under Section 2(1) of the Aircraft Act, 1934, the balloon comes under the category on an aircraft. The section covers kites too.

According to the sources, the balloon which was shot down by the Sukhoi-30 aircraft had “Happy Birthday” printed over it. The defense ministry has taken the matter up to the ministry of external affairs as there seems to be involvement of Pakistan. The security agencies confirmed that the object had flown from across the border given the vicinity of the neighboring country.

Source- Hindustan Times

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