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IAF Abhinandan Varthaman gets ‘Falcon Slayer’, ‘AMRAAM Dodgers' patch to mark F-16 kill


New Delhi, May 15: Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's MiG-21 Bison Squadron got 'Falcon Slayers' and 'AMRAAM Dodgers' patch to mark the February 27 dogfight in which an aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was shot down.

Patches are worn on the flying overalls. They depict a major achievement of the squadron and instil a sense of pride in all the pilots of the squadron.

IAF Abhinandan Varthaman gets ‘Falcon Slayer’, ‘AMRAAM Dodgers patch to mark F-16 kill

The patch, which features a motif of a MiG 21 Bison fighter aircraft - the one that Wg Cdr Abhinandan flew on that day, bears the words 'Falcon Slayers'. Fighting Falcon is the name by which the American-made F-16 fighter jets are also known.

Wg Cdr Varthaman belongs to the No. 51 Squadron, also called Sword Arms. The squadron has a fleet of MiG-21s.

Post Balakot, IAF speaks of better technological asymmetry

The 51 Squadron patch depicts a MiG-21 Bison in the foreground and a red-coloured F-16 in the background under crosshairs.

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's MiG-21 was shot down in a dogfight with PAF jets a day after the February 26 Balakot strike and he was taken captive by Pak Army. Abhinandan spent two days in the Pakistani custody before returning to India on the evening of March 1.

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