Two MiG-21 fighter aircraft were sent from Jodhpur air base to investigate a Turkish Airlines plane over Jaisalmer this morning when it repeated an identification code, which is unique to any aircraft, given by a commercial passenger plane that had entered Indian airspace before it.
However, the Delhi-bound passenger plane was later allowed to proceed after its credentials were verified, IAF officials said. Identification codes are issued to commercial airplanes to establish their identity before they enter the territory of any particular country during international flights.
The first aircraft entered the Indian territory using its identification code and doubts were raised when the second aircraft gave out the same code, an IAF spokesperson said. Two MiG-21 Bison aircraft were sent to intercept the aircraft and it was allowed to proceed towards its destination only after the fighter jets verified its credentials, he said.
Sources said the commercial airliner from the West Asian country was on its way to Delhi after flying over Pakistan. The aircraft was picked up by Indian Air Force's radar unit based near Jodhpur. As part of standard operating procedures, the IAF scrambles its fighter aircraft and alerts its air defence units if any unidentified aircraft or any other flying object is seen its air zone.
Jodhpur in Rajasthan is nearly 600 km from Delhi and 280 km from Jaisalmer.