Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday intercepted a Georgian Air Force transport carrier Antonov An-12 and forced it to land at Jaipur airfield in Rajasthan.
After getting airborne for Delhi, it deviated from its scheduled path and entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point in North Gujarat at 1515 hours 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 and vectored towards the unknown aircraft for investigation,” IAF spokesperson Gp Capt Anupam Banerjee said.
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, he added.
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.