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India scrambles fighter jets as aircraft entering via Pak spark alert

July 13, 2014 16:54 IST

India scrambles fighter jets as aircraft entering via Pak spark alert

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The Indian Air Force on Sunday scrambled fighter planes from its air base in Jodhpur after two commercial passenger aircraft sought to enter the Indian territory from Pakistan side using similar identification codes, sparking a security alert.

Two MiG-21 fighter aircraft were sent from the Jodhpur air base to investigate a Turkish Airlines plane over Jaisalmer on Sunday 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.

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Image: Indian Air Force's MiG-21 fighter jet


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India scrambles fighter jets as aircraft entering via Pak spark alert

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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.

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Image: An Indian Air Force officer stands in front of a MiG-21 fighter
Photographs: Kamal Kishore/Reuters
Tags: IAF , India

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India scrambles fighter jets as aircraft entering via Pak spark alert

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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 the 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.


Image: Indian Air Force investigated a Turkish Airlines plane
Photographs: Reuters

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