IAF intercepted trespassing Georgian An-12 Aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) intercepted an unknown Georgian Antonov-12, a heavy cargo aircraft trespassing into Indian sovereign territory. It was force to land in Jaipur for necessary investigation.

Key Highlights

The Sukhoi aircraft (fighter jets) of IAF, intercepted an unknown aircraft entering Indian Air Space in North Gujarat Sector with its IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) ‘on’. The IFF is a radar-based identification system, used within military and civil air traffic control (ATC) interrogation systems for detecting and identifying friendly vehicles.

Detection: Due to current geopolitical situation (referring to the 14 February Pulwama  terror attack in India by Pakistan and the Balakot Military strike conducted by India on Pakistan), the Air Traffic Services (ATS) routes in   the area were closed and aircraft did not follow authorized ATS route.  It tried to enter Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point, and was also not responding to Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies. This led to IAF’s fighter aircraft to scramble (ordered to take off immediately for action) and directed towards unknown aircraft for investigation.

Identification: On visual contact, the suspected aircraft flying at twenty seven thousand feet was identified as Georgian Antonov-12 (a heavy cargo aircraft). Initially, it neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception. But, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled An-12 aircraft that flew from Tbilisi (Georgia) and was on its way to New Delhi via Karachi.

Encounter: The aircraft was shadowed for the route violation and forced to land in Jaipur for security concern and to undertake necessary investigation.

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