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HomeNationBalakot Airstrike Hero Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman Awarded Vir Chakra

Balakot Airstrike Hero Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman Awarded Vir Chakra

Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra on Monday, November 22, by President Ram Nath Kovind at an investiture ceremony for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft in February 2019.

He shot down an F-16 over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during India’s Balakot air strike but was taken captive by the Pakistan Army after his plane was shot down by enemy forces. Abhinandan was a Wing Commander back then.

Abhinandan is credited to have been the only Mig-21 pilot ever to have shot down an F-16.

The Indian Air Force earlier promoted Abhinandan to the rank of Group Captain.

Abhinandan’s unit 51 Squadron also received a unit citation for its role in thwarting the Pakistan Air Force’s aerial attack on February 27, 2019. India had carried out the strikes in response to a Jaish-e-Mohammed attack on a CRPF convoy.

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