IAF Sukhois intercept Georgian Antonov cargo plane trespassing into Indian territory from Pakistan

Last Updated: Fri, May 10, 2019 21:29 hrs

[India], May 10 (ANI) A Georgian cargo plane, which entered the Indian air space by an unauthorised route from Pakistan, was on Friday intercepted by the Air Force and forced to land at the air base here.

The aircraft, identified as Antonov-12 and carrying spares entered the air space into North Gujarat Sector at 3:15 pm. At the time of being intercepted, the plane was flying at 27,000 feet an official statement said.

There has been a high alert on the air space in both India and Pakistan after the Balakot aerial strikes by the Indian Air Force in March.

Not flying on the authorized Air Traffic Services (ATS) route, the aircraft was forced to land at Jaipur air base at 4:55 pm after it failed to respond to radio calls from Indian controlling agencies.

The AN-12 entered the Indian air space around 70 kms north of an important air base in the Rann of Kutch from the air space, which is closed for civilian air traffic, government sources said.

When challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled An-12 aircraft that was airborne from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi.

Sources said as soon as the air force bases detected the aircraft on their radars, they activated two air defence fighters SU-30MKI there.

"The Georgian aircraft was earlier not responding but started descending 60 kms near Jaipur and landed," they said.

Its crew is being questioned by the authorities concerned on the ground, senior government sources told ANI.

The heavy cargo plane was being leased by a Ukrainian engine manufacturer 'MotorSich', according to sources.

The IAF will send its team from nearby bases to check the cargo contents of the aircraft. (ANI)