The Indian Air Force (IAF) scrambled a MiG-29 fighter to intercept an unknown aircraft in the skies southeast of Amritsar picked up by radars on Thursday.
An IAF spokesperson said the aircraft had given an incorrect secondary radar response code, creating confusion about its ID (friendly or foe). The aircraft, flying at a height of 37,000 feet, had entered Indian airspace from an established border entry point.
“The MiG-29 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept and investigate the identity of the unknown aircraft. Later the aircraft started transmitting correct secondary radar response code and was identified as a civil airliner of Air France (AFR-164),” the spokesperson said.
It was on its way from Paris to Bangkok. The MiG-29 fighter aircraft was given instructions to break off and return to base after the plane’s ID was confirmed.
The Mig-29 fighter that reportedly flew from the Air Force Station at Halwara near Ludhiana, had reached near the ‘ghost’ aircraft.
But, before it could start action for forcible grounding of the aircraft it started transmitting correct secondary radar response code.
It was only after the aircraft started transmitting the correct code was it allowed to continue its flight.
Defence spokesperson said that a formal report of the incident had been sent to the Airports Authority of India.
He claimed that the mystery was cleared promptly owing to the proficient functioning of radars and prompt action by the IAF.