New Delhi : The MiG-21 Bison Squadron, of which Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was part of when he took on the intruding aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ‘s F-16 in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27 this year, has taken on the sobriquet ‘Falcon Slayers’ and ‘AMRAAM Dodgers’ and have got special uniform patches made to commemorate the dogfight.The 51 Squadron of the Indian Air Force has come up with a new shoulder patch as a tribute to the heroic display of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
These new shoulder patches named AMRAAM DAGGERS and FALCON SLAYERS is, for sure, adding a sense of pride among the airmen of the No. 51 Squadron, also called Sword Arms, based at the Srinagar airbase. Within the encounter, Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 plane. His Bison plane was additionally shot down as he ejected into Pakistani territory. He was captured by Pakistan however launched days later.
The MiG-21 squadron, No. 51, is not the only one to have had special uniform patches made for their flying overalls. The Sukhoi-30 squadron, whose aircraft also blunted the Pakistani air attack and successfully evaded the AMRAAM missiles of the PAF F-16s, have also named themselves the ‘AMRAAM Dodger’ in new patches.
Patches are cloth badges that depict the squadron’s role and often identify itself with an important engagement in which the squadron took part. It also reflects the type of aircraft the squadron flies and is worn on flying overalls.
The 51 Squadron patch depicts a MIG-21 Bison in the foreground and a red-coloured F-16 in the background under crosshairs. The other squadron’s patch shows a SU-30MKI with an AMRAAM missile going past after narrowly missing it.