Mi-17 helicopter crash ‘a big mistake’, will take action against guilty: Air Chief RKS Bhadauria


New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Friday said that the Mi-17 helicopter, which crashed on February 27 in Srinagar killing all six personnel on board, was hit by an IAF missile and assured action against those guilty.

“Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been completed and it was our mistake as our missile had hit our own chopper. We will take action against two officers. We accept this was our big mistake and we will ensure such mistakes are not repeated in future,” Bhadauria said at the annual Air Force Day press conference here.

The Mi-17 chopper was hit by the IAF’s own SPYDER surface to air defence missile over Budgam, a day after airstrikes on Balakot in Pakistan in which terror camps were targeted.

A video showcasing the story of the Balakot airstrikes was played out before the start of the conference in which the important achievements of the IAF were showcased.

“Air Force has achieved many important milestones in the last year including February 26 when we successfully targeted terror camps in Balakot. On February 27, in the aerial battle after attack by Pakistan, Indian Air Force lost one MiG-21 and Pakistan lost one F-16,” Bhadauria said at his first official press conference after taking over as the IAF Chief.

He also cautioned that the IAF was ready to give any kind of reply to Pakistan if the need arose, “If there is a terror strike (from Pakistan), it will be responded as per the government decision on it.”

The Chief of Air Staff also said that the purchase of French Rafale jets and the S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system will greatly enhance the capabilities of the