A Georgian Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft flying from Karachi to Delhi was forced by Indian Air Force fighter jets to land at Jaipur airport after it violated the Indian air space at an unscheduled spot.
The aircraft reportedly deviated from its scheduled flight path and flew into India from a point in north Gujarat.
Reports say that the Antonov entered 70 kilometres north of an important air base in the Rann of Kutch from an air space closed for civilian air traffic.
The IAF immediately scrambled two Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets to intercept the Georgian aircraft.
Reports say that the aircraft was carrying spares and was on lease from a Ukrainian engine manufacturer.
Authorities are not seeing the incident as a major crisis. The pilots and crew are being questioned.
The Defence Ministry said that the aircraft did not follow the authorised Air Traffic Services (ATS) 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 the Indian air space from an unscheduled point, the air defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled and vectored the aircraft for investigation,’’ the ministry added.
The incident comes just over two months after Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu-Kashmir to target Indian military installations a day after India bombed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot, which was in retaliation of the 14 February Pulwama terror attack.
The incident led to a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani fighter jets.
The Antonov An-12 is a four-engine turboprop transport aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. Pakistani Air Force does not use the aircraft but some countries in Central Asia as well as China have Antonovs in their fleet.