India Strikes Back: Indian Air Force has heroically avenged the Pulwama attack that killed 40 jawans of the CRPF not more than 2 weeks ago.
In response to the Pulwama attack that killed 40 brave jawans of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), India has apparently destroyed the alpha base camps of Pakistan’s terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) at Balakot. The air strike was carried out in the pre-dawn hours at 3:45am of 26th February, Tuesday, where 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets reportedly dropped 1000kg laser bombs at the base camps of the terrorist groups JeM, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen.
The air strikes were organized in retaliation to the Pulwana suicide attack on CRPF convoy that took place on February 14th, for which Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility. The Indian government has stated that this was a “pre-emptive strike” as reports from the Intelligence suggested that the JeM were planning more suicide attacks across the Indian land. Indian Foreign Secretary, Vijay Keshav Gokhale, also stated in the press statement released early in the day that this was a completely non-military attack where neither the army personnel of Pakistan nor the civilians were harmed. This attack was conducted only to eliminate the “Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of Jihadis” who were being trained for Jihadi attacks.
The strike was apparently organized with 12 Mirage-2000 jets which have apparently been used earlier in similar operations. The total operation was carried out within 40 minutes which is due to the commendable planning and execution of the IAF personnel. While the jets took 19 minutes to cross the LOC and return back to safety, the strategic attack took place within 21 minutes.
The 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets were divided into groups of 3-4 with their first target set on Balakot, second target on Muzaffarabad and third on Chakothi, all stations to the aforementioned active Jihadi groups. The attack resulted in elimination of the entire group of 200-300 terrorists that were training for more suicide attacks across the country.
The IAF planned the whole operation well in advance. The IAF apparently exhausted the Pakistani air defences by organizing mock air drills. The early warning aircraft and mid-air tankers left station during one such mock run near Sri Ganganagar border.
The main strike assets, Mirage-2000 and Su-30 MKI fighter jets, advanced towards the LoC for the cross-border attack while the Pakistani aircrafts were kept engaged in another mock run near the Pathankot border. This kept their attention set at the incoming mock run planes while the fighter jets made their way towards the LoC.
The strike was so well orchestrated that the Mirgae-2000 jets got into the Loc for less than 10kms and returned back to safety before Pakistani Air Force had time to retaliate.
While the attack is perceived to be a reaction to the Pulwama suicide attack that took place on the 14th of February, sources said that the strike mission was already in planning. An instant approval was received by the authority after the attack.
Retired Air Marshal SB Deo confirmed the report, “We have practised these kinds of strikes and have planned them. We have even practised with SPICE bombs as well, as we do with all our weapons. I compliment all involved for a perfect strike”.
While the execution of the air strike is worth every appreciation, the credit also goes to the high-end technology used in the attack. The Mirage 2000 jets have been the favorite of India for a long time now for its longevity and precision. The fighter jets dropped laser guided bombs that carried 1000 Kg of explosives on the terrorist camps which completely destroyed the target. The operation was also successful because of the surveillance used.
The Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) Netra and Israeli Heron drone were used to keep guard and provide information on any retaliation by Pakistan.
These are the seven weapons that India used to strike Pakistan:
1. Mirage 2000 from Gwalior – Multirole fighter jet built by Dassault aviation, acquired in 1980s, predecessor to rafale
2. GBU-12 Paveway Laser-Guided Bomb – American-built precision guidance bomb kit
3. Matra Magic Close Combat Missile – french built missile for possible pak air force response during mission
4. Litening Pod – Laser Designator and targeting pod to acquire targets and guide precision bomb
5. Netra Airborne early warning jet from Bhatinda – command & control from the air, vectoring the fighters towards targets
6. Ilyushin-78m from agra – Flight refuelling aircraft to refuel jets for longer endurance
7. Heron drone from secret airfield conducted real time surveillance along line of control
According to reports, the whole terrorist group stationed at the Balakot territory led by Masood Azhar has been eliminated with no civilian casualty caused. The news has undoubtedly taken the nation by surprise. Many across the country are celebrating the heroic act by the Indian Air Force while the social media is also flooding with appreciation and acknowledgement of the much needed action by the Indian government.
What was the cost of IAF’s Strike at Balakot ?
In the wake of the air strikes organized by the IAF earlier in the day, reports have suggested that laser-guided bombs worth approximately Rs 1.7 crore were used to eliminate Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot area.
While the country is celebrating the commendable way IAF destroyed the terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan, sources have reported that Rs 2,568 crore worth Indian airborne assets entered Pakistani lands to carry out the operation.
The 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets each worth Rs 214 crore were the main aircrafts used to execute the mission. These aircrafts carried 225kg GBU-12 bombs with American built precision guidance, each worth Rs 56-73.5 lakhs, to be dropped at the target camps.
Laser guided bombs carrying 1,000kg of explosives were dropped by the IAF fighter jets to demolish the active JeM terror camp on Jaba Top near Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi. Apparently the bombs were Rs 56 lakhs each.
As per reports, 200-300 terrorists consisting of Jihadi trainers, trainees and senior commanders were eliminated during the operation.
A total of approximately Rs 6,300 crore of military assets were deployed to carry out the mission. Out of this, assets worth Rs 3,686 crore were kept on standby to aid the mission.
For surveillance, an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWE&C) named Netra worth Rs 1,750 crore was used to watch any retaliatory action from Pakistani aircrafts. Along with Netra, the Israeli Heron drone worth Rs 80 crore was also kept on guard to inspect and inform of Pakistan’s reaction.
Furthermore, an Ilyushin mid-air refiling tanker worth Rs 22 crore also accompanied the jets.
That is not all, 3 Russian manufactured Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircrafts, each worth Rs 358 crore were also on close watch on the Indian territory during the operation. Accompanying them were 5 MiG 29 fighter aircrafts – each worth Rs 154 crore – on alert on the ground.
Some of the Mirage jets were also loaded with Matra Magic close combat missile to respond to any reaction from Pakistan during the operation. Laser pods were used by the IAF to neutralise the targets in this 21 minute mission that took place at 3:45am early this Tuesday.