In February 2019, Indian officials presented the alleged wreckage of an AIM-120C5 AMRAAM missile as evidence that Pakistan used an F-16 in the shooting down of IAF jets (as only an F-16 could fire such a missile from the Pakistani side), and hence they shot down one of them.

Screenshot of YouTube Video

Pakistan's Foreign office dubbed India's claim as "completely baseless".

Interestingly, the missile wreckage has a serial number which (according to a report prepared by Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense of Pentagon, dated 26 July 2010, signed by Frank Kendall, and submitted to the Chairman of Committee on Armed Services: Carl Levin) was sold to Taiwan by the USA. More interestingly, the spelling of the name "Taiwan" was written as "Tiawan", but otherwise the letter and the information seems to be legitimate.

Secondly, there was not much row seen from the US-side regarding the incident.

Was the debris shown, an authentic piece of missile wreckage? If yes, how did a missile sold to Taiwan end up in Indian hands?

  • 2
    I doubt either the US or Taiwan would make a spelling error like that. Thus I would think it is very likely this is a forgery. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 3:09
  • 3
    @LorenPechtel, You haven't checked the link. The document id available from USDoD's website.
    – user366312
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 3:32

2 Answers 2


Just adding to the confusion.

The 2010 report (pdf) mentionned in the OP and mentionning a sale to "Tiawan" seems genuine. (to my unexpert eyes)

However, we can also find this Pentagon Contract Announcement, issued on 2004, for the same kind of armament (AMRAAM) from the same company (Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz.), under the same serial number (FA8675-05-C-0070), which mentions:

This effort supports foreign military sales to Canada and Poland; Spares for Poland. Total funds have been obligated. This work will be complete by September 2007.

Indeed, the missiles were delivered in 2007 according to the report. However, the intended clients are yet different countries.

How Canada and/or Poland became Taiwan (aka Tiawan), and how the missile landed in Pakistanese or Indian hands, remains mysterious.

About the mispelling error: In the 2010 report, we can find sells for Taiwan, for Tiawan and even for Tawian. I see no reason to doubt the latter two to be simple typos for the former.

  • 2
    the contract was no doubt a batch of missiles produced by Raetheon for distribution by the US military to allied nations. That'd explain why the weapons were distributed to different countries over a number of years. And quite possibly one of those countries could have been Pakistan, if any were left in storage after the date of the report you found.
    – jwenting
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 8:48

(image source)

According to PAF Museum, one Mirage and Two F-16s (92731, 84606) were used in attacking India on 27th February 2019.

These jets fired missiles to ammunitions depot of the Indian Army, and to counter advancing Indian jets. This debris is probably one of the missiles fired from the F-16s.

So, the debris is authentic.

  • 3
    I'm sorry, this in no way confirms the debris as authentic. There was an air-to-air engagement, which is acknowledged by both sides, but just saying there was an air-to-air engagement does not mean the debris of the AIM-120 is legitimate. -1
    – DenisS
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 22:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .