Helium Filled Balloon From Pak Shot Down by IAF in Rajasthan

Def Min has written to the MEA informing it about the incident & talk to Pakistan to avoid such incidents.

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Hindi Female

A US-made helium-filled balloon that was shot down by a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft over Rajasthan had come in from Pakistan and could have been an attempt to gauge India’s response time, top government sources said today.

The Defence Ministry has now written to the Ministry of External Affairs informing it about the incident and talk to Pakistan to avoid such incidents in the future. The shiny, three-metres-in-diameter balloon, with “Happy Birthday” written on it, was flying at a height of about 25,000 feet in Jaisalmer district when it was picked up by air force radars which were on high alert in view of Republic Day celebrations.

Our radars picked up a shiny flying object entering our air space. A fighter jet was quickly scrambled which intercepted it and shot it down.

Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister

Due to heightened security alert, the balloon was shot down as it could have been carrying unknown payload. However, on analysis of the debris it was established that there was no dangerous payload.

Indian Air Force statement

Meanwhile, government sources said that balloon, made by an American company, was flying at an altitude higher than that of a helicopter (18,000 feet) and hence leaving nothing to chance, it was shot down. The wind speed was also high and the threat level was high.

“Imagine, if it was not just a commercial balloon,” the sources said, adding that 97 rounds were spent as the fighter plane sprayed bullets as per Standard Operating Procedure.

As per the Aircraft Act 1934, “aircraft” means any machine which can derive support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air and includes balloons, whether fixed or free, airships, kites, gliders and flying machines. The balloon was manufactured by Illinois based firm CTI Industries.

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Topics:  Pakistan   Rajasthan   Indian Air Force 

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