An investigation into the crash of an Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V-5 helicopter at Budgam, near Srinagar on February 27 has revealed that an Indian air defence missile was fired shortly before the incident.
On Feb. 27, the IAF Mi-17 helicopter got airborne from Srinagar airfield at 1000 hrs for a routine mission and crashed in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam at 10.05 am. The helicopter reportedly broke into two and caught fire immediately. The crash resulted in the deaths of six Air Force personnel and a civilian on ground. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) was then ordered to investigate the accident.
The investigators are now examining the sequence of events which preceded the crash, including the status of the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system on board the helicopter. Sources said that the missile – believed to be of Israeli origin – was activated after an air defence alert was sounded over Jammu and Kashmir, besides other parts of the border, after a over 25 Pakistani Air Force (PAF) fighter jets were detected along the border on the morning of February 27.