According to a news report investigators found an Indian air defence missile, most probably made in Israel that was fired shortly before the Mi17 V5 helicopter crash at Budgam, near Srinagar. It resulted in the deaths of 6 six air force personnel and a citizen.
The investigators are investigating this incident, examining how the crash was around the time Indo-Pak air battle was going on.
An informed Indian defence correspondent Manu Pubby said that the final moments before the attack that includes Identity, Friend or Foe systems were turned on or not are being examined.
An Indian newspaper quoted sources saying that the missile is believed to be of Israeli origin and it was activated after an air defence alert was sounded in India-held Jammu and Kashmir “after over 25 Pakistani air force jets were detected along the border on the morning of February 27”.
The sources said, “indicated that Pakistani jets may be trying to breach the border for a strike on Indian military targets and there were concerns that armed UAVs available with that country may also have been deployed”.
According to sources, the slow-moving target like the Mi17 V5 could have been mistaken for a low-flying armed UAV. Further adding, “When an air defence alert is sounded, several things take place. There are a set of rules that transport aircraft and helicopters need to follow and there are set entry and egress routes demarcated for aircraft flying. Also, aircraft are to switch on their IFF systems.”
Further adding, “As reported by ET, the chopper crashed in the 10-minute span when IAF jets were engaged in an aerial battle with the Pakistan Air Force fighters, along the Line of Control in the Nowshera sector, and air defence systems were on operational alert. Command and control systems were under immense pressure as reports of attempted intrusions were sounded along the border.”
The Indian newspaper stated, “Mi17 V5 is one of the sturdiest choppers in service across the world and is not usually prone to technical faults of catastrophic nature. Eyewitness reported that a loud explosion was heard in the air before the chopper crashed in a trail of smoke, indicating a possible catastrophic external event contributed to the incident.”