The Georgian cargo plane was on a scheduled flight from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi.
New Delhi: Two Indian Air Force planes intercepted one Delhi-bound An-12 aircraft belonging to Georgia coming via Karachi after it deviated from its scheduled flight path and entered Indian air space through an unscheduled point in North Gujarat on Friday.
The Georgian cargo plane was on a scheduled flight from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi. However, it took a wrong route and entered Indian air space through Gujarat sector which is closed at present due to current tension between India and Pakistan.
According to airport officials, the movement of the An-12 was detected at 3.15 pm by IAF Air Defence system which is on a high alert due to current Indo-Pak tension. IAF’s two Sukhoi-30 intercepted the Georgian plane and forced it land in Jaipur airfied. The pilots and the crew are being questioned.
“An unknown aircraft entered Indian Air Space in North Gujarat Sector at 15.15 hrs with its IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) ‘on’. The aircraft did not follow the authorized Air Traffic Services (ATS) route and was not responding to Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies. Since ATS routes in the area were closed due to the current geopolitical situation, and the aircraft entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point, the Air Defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled. On visual contact, the aircraft was identified as Georgian An-12 flying at twenty seven thousand feet.
The aircraft neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception. However, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non scheduled An-12 aircraft that had got airborne from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi. The aircraft was shadowed and forced to land at Jaipur for necessary investigation,” the IAF said in a statement.