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Shooting down own chopper was big mistake IAF chief

first_imgNew Delhi: Air 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 the ground. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkThe court of inquiry (CoI) ordered into the incident has completed its probe, and it has been established that IAF’s own missile hit the helicopter, Bhadauria, who took over as chief of the Air Force on Monday, said while addressing his first press conference. Before the press conference, the IAF showed representational video clips of the Balakot strike. Administrative action has already been taken against four officers held responsible for the helicopter crash by the CoI. Separately, disciplinary action like court-martial procedures are being initiated against two senior officers, IAF officials said. Also Read – Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 top militant leaders: ReportsThe probe found there were “vital gaps” in communication and coordination between the ground staff and the crew of the chopper. It also found violations of standard operating procedures. Earlier, military sources said the probe found that the ‘Identification of Friend or Foe’ (IFF) system on-board the helicopter was switched off and there were “vital gaps” in communication and coordination between the ground staff and the crew of the chopper. The helicopter crashed in Budgam around 10 am on February 27 when Indian and Pakistani fighter jets were engaged in fierce aerial combat in Nowshera, a day after India’s airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan. The helicopter went down around 10 minutes after taking off.last_img

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