The MiG-21 Bison Squadron, of which Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was part of when he took on the intruding aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27 this year, has taken on the sobriquet ‘Falcon Slayers’ and ‘AMRAAM Dodgers’ and have got special uniform patches made to commemorate the dogfight.
In the encounter, Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 aircraft. His Bison aircraft was also shot down as he ejected into Pakistani territory. He was captured by Pakistan but released days later.
The MiG-21 squadron, No. 51, is not the only one to have had special uniform patches made for their flying overalls. The Sukhoi-30 squadron, whose aircraft also blunted the Pakistani air attack and successfully evaded the AMRAAM missiles of the PAF F-16s, have also named themselves the ‘AMRAAM Dodger’ in new patches.