Birender Singh Dhanoa
Pradeep Padmakar Bapat
India Air Force has recommended Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for the Vir Chakra medal for shooting down an F-16 in an aerial engagement with the Pakistan Air Force on February 27. In the past, during wars, pilots who shot down enemy fighters were all given Vir Chakra medals. The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military during times of war after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. This comes even as the IAF fighter pilot was issued transfer orders out of Srinagar to another base in the western sector along the Pakistan border.