What is “Falcon Slayer”? Who are they?

New Delhi: IAF Pilot Abhinandan’s Squadron is Now the ‘Falcon Slayer’, Special Uniform Patch Lauds F-16 Dogfight. The patch reads ‘Falcon Slayers’. The Unit also calls itself ‘AMRAAM Dodger’ as the Mig-21s evaded multiple AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles fire by Pakistani F-16. 

The new special patch for the Wing Commander’s unit depicts a MiG-21 Bison in the foreground and a red-colored F-16 in the background.  Patches are cloth badges that depict the squadron’s role and often identify itself with an important engagement in which the squadron took part. It also reflects the type of aircraft the squadron flies and is worn on flying overalls.

Any squadron can come out with such shoulder patches to mark its achievements and success stories, the officials said, adding that the Indian Air Force officially does not issue such markings.

The IAF foiled the Pakistani retaliation, and in the dogfight, Varthaman downed an F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force, showing grit, determination and bravery.

Soon after he brought down the F-16, Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army as his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.

The IAF had said the Pakistani F-16 fighters fired AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile during the aerial combat.  After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in genera

Varthaman had became the face of the military confrontation between the two countries. Last month, he was shifted out of Srinagar and posted to a frontline air base in the western sector. The IAF is recommending wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra to Varthaman.

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