This week, several air force operations by Indian and Pakistan Air Forces took place in the airspace above Kashmir. During the air duels, India lost one MiG-21, whose pilot successfully catapulted and was already returned to the Indian side.
The mystery of the Indian Air Force was that their outdated MiG-21 aircraft, which construction is dated back to the 1950s and today is at the end of their technical life, shot down a much more modern and powerful Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft in Pakistani service. The Indian and Pakistani parties have been blaming each other for lies. Moreover, the Indian side, in addition to the AIM-120 AMRAAM, was unable to show any further evidence to support its claim.
Now the mystery seems to be clarified: Pakistani soldiers found the debris corresponding to the F-16 aircraft. with Jet engine casing of the General Electric F110-GE-129 are clearly visible on the photograph. These engines are used by The F-16C/D Block 50 aircrafts. The first versions of the F-16 produced by General Dynamics were powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100. With later versions of the F-16, customers could choose between GE and Pratt & Whitney engines.
The obvious use of F-16 aircraft against India (see AIM-120C missiles that is not usable by other Pakistani air force aircrafts) is a considerable diplomatic flaw, as F-16s were shipped to Pakistan on condition that they were not be used against India but for “the combat against terrorism.” This detail may be the main reason for eventual denial of the Pakistani party.
So, if the F-16 aircraft was actually shot down by the MiG-21 and not by the accident or mid-air collision, this is a noticeable blow to the hopes of the Lockheed Martin and TATA consortium, who offered the F-21 (rebranded F-16) for the tender for the new multipurpose combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
In addition to the overall technical obsolescence of the MiG-21, its greatest weakness is the small range of onboard radar. Due to the very limited diameter of the radom in the front of the airplane and the design of the air intake, the aircraft cannot be fitted with a larger/more powerful radar. The MiG-21 also has a very limited combat radius.
For comparison: The General Electric F110-GE jet engine and the debris found on the Pakistani side of Kashmir: