Twenty years ago — on August 10, 1999 — the Indian Air Force shot down an intruding Pakistani maritime surveillance aircraft over Naliya in Gujarat. It was in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil war when the militaries of both countries were on edge, and ties between the subcontinental rivals were particularly icy.
“We never expected that he would go down” immediately, Group Captain Sanjeev Naraynen (retd.) said, recalling the downing of the French-built Breguet Br.1150 Atlantique.
The downing of the naval aircraft left five officers and 11 sailors dead — the biggest loss the Pakistani navy suffered in a single day since the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war — and aggravated the tension between the nuclear-armed sub continental rivals.
“We didn’t expect so many to be on the aircraft. It was unfortunate,” Naraynen said. “I learned about them when the media reported about their funeral,” he said. Read more