Guwahati, April 20, 2019
The India Air Force is recommending Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for the wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra for shooting down an F-16 in aerial conflict with Pakistan.
The 12 Mirage 2000 pilots who bombed targets in Pakistan are being recommended for the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry for their acts of bravery, as per media reports.
The Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery on the battlefield. The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military during the times of war after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. Award of the decoration carries with it the right to use Vr.C. as a postnominal abbreviation from that for the Victoria Cross.
The Wing Commander has the unique distinction of being the only pilot in the world to have shot down an F-16 combat aircraft from his vintage MiG-21 Bison aircraft on February 27th, 2019 during an aerial conflict with Pakistan.