Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who has been credited with the world’s first F-16 kill using a MiG 21 fighter jet, would be awarded the Vir Chakra - India’s third highest wartime medal, on 15 August, Times of India has reported.
Varthaman is being awarded this medal for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet on 27 February during a dogfight between the two countries in response to Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Balakot Air Strike.
After shooting down the F-16, Varthaman accidentally crossed over to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) where he was shot down by an anti-aircraft battery.
Pakistan released him from its custody on 1 March after India mounted massive pressure along with its international allies.
Sapper Prakash Jadhav who was martyred in Kulgam in November during an encounter with terrorists and CRPF Dy Comdt Harshpal Singh would be conferred Kirti Chakras - the second highest peacetime gallantry award. Fourteen other personnel of the Indian Armed Forces would be conferred the Shaurya Chakra.