Pilot Abhinandan slowly transforming from hero to villain

Wing Commander Abinandan Varthaman, who was shot down on February 27 during a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force jets — could not hear instructions asking him to turn back because his communications system was jammed by the enemy, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) and government officials familiar with the matter who have renewed a long-standing demand for anti-jamming technology.

If his MiG 21 Bison had been equipped with anti-jamming technology, Varthaman may have turned around when instructed to. That would have prevented him from being shot down and taken captive by Pakistan.

This is not the first time that IAF has flagged the need for better and more secure communications. “We may not have lost Wing Commander Varthaman had the drawbacks not been there,” said a senior government official who did not want to be named. The Indian Air Force did not respond to queries

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