IAF intercepts Georgian Cargo plane from Karachi, forces it to land at Jaipur
New Delhi, May 10: An Indian Air Force aircraft on Friday intercepted an Antonov AN-12 heavy cargo plane coming from Pakistani Air space to land at Jaipur airport.
According to reports, the An-12 aircraft from Georgia got airborne for Delhi from Karachi deviated from its scheduled path and entered Indian air space from an unknown location in north Gujarat."
The aircraft did not follow the authorized Air Traffic Services (ATS) route and was not responding to Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies. Since ATS routes in the area were closed due to the current geopolitical situation, and the aircraft entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point, the Air Defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled and vectored towards the unknown aircraft for investigation," the government said in a statement.
The aircraft neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception, the government added. It was spotted flying by two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets at an altitude of 27,000 feet.
"When challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled An-12 aircraft that had got airborne from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi. The aircraft was shadowed and forced to land at Jaipur for necessary investigation," the statement said.
This was an expected flight on a scheduled route and is not being seen as a major crisis. "It wasn't a serious violation, it's been released," Jaipur Additional Commissioner of Police told ANI.
The Antonov An-12, which was forced to land today, is a four-engined turboprop transport aircraft designed in the Soviet Union and is very popular with cargo operators.