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IAF scrambles jets after French aircraft sends wrong code

August 27, 2009 19:38 IST

The Indian Air Force scrambled its MiG 29 fighter jets to intercept an Air France flight entering India from Pakistan over Amritsar as the aircraft had switched on wrong Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) code, on Thursday.

"Taking prompt action after our radars detected an unknown aircraft over our territory, we scrambled two of our MiG 29 air defence fighter jets from Adampur air base to intercept the aircraft at around 0610 hours in the morning, as it had switched on a wrong IFF code," IAF officials said in New Delhi. "The mission was aborted soon after the fighters took off as the French aircraft had switched over to the right codes," they added. IFF codes are meant to help the ground-based radars to automatically differentiate between friendly and enemy aircraft.

The French Airliner's Airbus 343 aircraft was on its way from Paris to Bangkok and was entering India after flying over Lahore in Pakistan. "After the aircraft switched over to the right codes, it was allowed to proceed towards its destination and the IAF jets came back to its base," they said. After the 26/11 attacks, the IAF has been keeping a tight vigil on the borders to thwart any attempt by non-state actors to carry out any 9/11 type aerial strikes in India.

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