No. 51 Squadron
Active23 December 1957 - Present
CountryIndia Republic of India
Branch Indian Air Force
Garrison/HQSrinagar AFS
Nickname(s)Sword Arms
Motto(s)Yudhya Mahaspara Bhayankara
which means "valour for victory"

No. 51 Squadron "Sword Arms" is a fighter squadron of Indian air force, based in Srinagar air force station.[1] The squadron is under the western command of Indian air force.


No.51 Squadron was initially raised in AFS Chandigarh in 1985, then being equipped with Mig-21 Type 75 variant which later went on to be upgraded to the Mig-21 Bison variant. The squadron was shortly relocated to AFS Srinagar.[2]

Notable Incidents

No. 51 Squadron "Sword Arms"On 27 February 2019, Varthaman was flying a MiG-21 as a part of a sortie that was scrambled to intercept an intrusion by Pakistan aircraft into Jammu and Kashmir. In the dogfight that ensued, he crossed into Pakistan territory where he was struck by a missile. Varthaman ejected and descended safely in the village of Horran in Pakistan administered Kashmir, approximately 7 km from the Line of Control.[17][18] It was claimed by local villagers that Varthaman could be identified as an Indian pilot by the Indian flag on his parachute.[17] Upon landing, Varthaman asked the villagers if he was in India. The locals responded with pro-Pakistan slogans, after which Varthaman began to run while firing warning shots. He ran for approximately 500 metres, to a small pond, where he attempted to sink and swallow some of his documents. Subsequently, he was captured and manhandled by the villagers before being rescued by the Pakistan Army.[19][18]

Later that day, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs claimed that an Indian pilot was missing in action after a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane was lost while engaging with Pakistani jets.[20][17][21]


  1. ^ "No.51 Squadron, Indian Air Force - Database". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  2. ^ Sqn