India, Aug. 14 -- Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be awarded the Vir Chakra, the country's third highest war-time gallantry award, on Independence Day for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight over the Line of Control on February 27, two officials said on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

The February 27 dogfight took place a day after the Mirage-2000s struck targets in Balakot in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed on February 14.

Vir Chakra is India's third-highest wartime gallantry award, after the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra.

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