A Pakistani surveillance drone was shot down by a Sukhoi-30MKI of the Air Force in Rajasthan's Bikaner today, sources said. This was the second drone to be downed by the IAF in a week; the first was taken out over the Kutch region of Gujarat by an Israeli-designed SPYDER surface-to-air missile system on February 26, according to reports.
The Sukhoi-30MKI reportedly scored the kill using an air-to-air missile after the intruding drone was detected by Indian radars.
Drones are commonly used at border areas by the armed forces of both India and Pakistan to spy on each other as they are lightweight, easy to operate and relatively inexpensive.
The Air Force's latest action comes amid simmering tension between the two neighbours after a terror attack in Pulwama led to India responding with an air strike inside Pakistan, and subsequent skirmish between the air forces of India and Pakistan - the first since the 1971 war.
A MiG-21 Bison of the IAF piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman downed a much advanced Pakistani F-16 fighter jet before his MiG-21 also fell to enemy fire. He was captured by Pakistani forces and released nearly 60 hours later via the Attari-Wagah border.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa today said "operations are ongoing", which was seen as indicating that the forces remain in full preparedness even after India and Pakistan pulled back from the brink.
India has called on the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to stop giving shelter to terrorist groups on its soil. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said India must give proof of terror groups operating from his country, despite India giving dossiers after dossiers to Pakistan linking terrorists with the neighbouring country.
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