February 28, 2019

24 Pak Jets Tried To Cross Over, Intercepted By 8 Air Force Fighters

The Wing Commander was in hot pursuit of a Pakistani F-16 jet, which he engaged with an R-73 air-to-air missile. 

 As India waited for the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is in Pakistan's custody, exclusive details emerged on the unprecedented air combat operation along the Line of Control, where a package of 24 Pakistani aircraft were intercepted by eight IAF fighters, which included a MiG 21 Bison he was piloting.
The Wing Commander was in hot pursuit of a Pakistani F-16 jet, which he engaged with an R-73 air-to-air missile.  The state-of-the-art Pakistani fighter, thought to be a two-seater variant of the jet, was shot down. Both pilots were seen parachuting down on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.
NDTV has learnt that the Pakistani Air Force strike package included eight F-16s, four Mirage-3 aircraft, four Chinese made JF-17 "Thunder" fighter.
Other aircraft in the formation were escort fighters to protect the Pakistan strike formation from any IAF retaliation. The large Pakistani attack formation was detected at 9.45 am, when they came within 10 km of the Line of Control.
A small number of these fighters then proceeded to cross the Line of Control, when they were intercepted by eight IAF jets, which included four Sukhoi 30s, two upgraded Mirage 2000s and two MiG 21 Bisons.
The Air Force fighters gave chase to the Pakistani jets on their return leg after they had dropped a handful of laser-guided bombs that narrowly missed their military targets along the Line of Control.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was in hot pursuit of a Pakistani F-16, which his radar had locked onto.
Despite being warned by other aircraft in the formation about the presence of Pakistani fighters, he pushed home his attack and fired an R-73 air-to-air missile.
At this stage of the air-to-air encounter, the pilot's wingman was also exposed and vulnerable.
Two missiles were fired by Pakistani F-16s. One of them, an AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) struck his aircraft, while another missed his wingman.
The Wing Commander was forced to eject and landed into the Pakistani side of Line of Control, where he was captured. Pakistan has announced that he will be released tomorrow.
Early on Wednesday, Pakistan circulated videos of the pilot, where he was seen being interrogated -- wounded, tied up and blindfolded. The clips were, however, taken off once New Delhi accused Pakistan of violating the Geneva Convention for prisoners. A video circulated later showed the pilot sipping tea, saying he was being 'well looked after" by officers of the Pakistani army.


The AMRAAM Missile Which India Recovered Proving Pak F-16 Jet Tried To Attack Indian Military Bases

  • AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile or AMRAAM is a medium-range, air-to-air missile. 
  • Pakistan Air Force in early 2006 placed an order for 500 AIM-120C-5 AMRAAM missiles under the F-16 ammunition contract worth $650 million. 
Pakistan brazenly denied India's claim of their F-16 Aircraft being shot, the DG ISPR has further claimed that Pakistan Air Force did not use F-16 during the operation and maintained that no Aircraft of Pakistan has been struck.
Exposing another lie after accessing pictures of the downed Pakistan Air Force F-16, now a piece of AMRAAM missile fired at India has been retrieved.
Here is all you need to know about AMRAAM: 
  • AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile or AMRAAM is a medium-range, air-to-air missile. 
  • It has a length of 3.6 meters, 17.7 cm of diameter and a wingspan of 52.5cm. The missile is capable of carrying 18.1kg high-explosive blast fragmentation and has a range of 40-50 kilometer
  • Procured by 37 countries, the missile is integrated with combat aircraft such as F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado, Harrier, F-4, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
  • AMRAAM ER can be produced for a 'comparatively low-cost' to other missiles of the same category. 
  • The latest versions of F-16 aircraft can support AIM-120 AMRAAMs
  • Pakistan Air Force in early 2006 placed an order for 500 AIM-120C-5 AMRAAM missiles under the F-16 ammunition contract worth $650 million. 

On Wednesday, Republic TV had first accessed and authenticated visuals of the Indian Air Force scattering Pakistan's formation and causing the F-16s to scarper, while another video captured the exact moment that the F-16 was shot down, crashing down toward Earth, no more than a ball of flame, with the locals who shot the video making abundantly clear that a parachute had also deployed as the pilot ejected.
Later, in a classic case, the Pakistani pilot who ejected from the F-16 was identified and taken into custody by his own country which took hours to correct its blunder. Pakistan also barred its media from disclosing that its fighter jet was downed.
After IAF foiled Pakistan's attempt to attack military installations on Wednesday, Pakistan a day after pleading to 'give peace a chance' tried to again violate India's airspace by intrusion on Thursday morning.
Tensions steeply escalated between the two when Islamabad responded with a military confrontation to New Delhi's counter-terrorism operation on Pak-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps, who claimed responsbility of the ghastly Pulwama attack that martyred 40 jawans.


Over 20 Pakistani Aircraft Breached Indian Airspace, Forces Ready to Move at Short Notice: Sources

The sources said Pakistan’s claims that its air force did not target Indian military installations during the intrusion were false, adding that the alertness of the armed forces remained at the highest level.Disputing Pakistan’s version of the aerial confrontation that unfolded on Wednesday morning, sources in the government told News18 that more than 20 Pakistani aircraft had approached the Indian airspace at 9:45am and breached 10km inside. Laser-guided missile were fired at Indian military targets, but missed narrowly, defence ministry sources added.

The sources said Pakistan’s claims that its air force did not target Indian military installations during the intrusion were false, adding that the alertness of the armed forces remained at the highest level.They said the leaves of security forces have not been cancelled, though leaves of personnel holding important positions are being curtailed. The sources also said there has been no mobilisation of ground forces yet and that some forces are ready to move at short notice.

An IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan after an air combat Wednesday during which the two sides said they shot down each other's warplanes that followed an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes that sparked fears of war.

The aerial engagement between India and Pakistan for the first time since the 1971 war marked a dramatic escalation of confrontation prompting world leaders to urge the two neighbouring countries to exercise "utmost restraint". India said it shot down an F-16 warplane of Pakistan while it lost a MiG 21 during the fierce engagement between the air forces of the two countries along the Line of Control.


Russian defense industry to ‘breathe new life’ into Su-30SM fighter jet

The heavily upgraded Su-30SM plane may open a new niche for Russia in India, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said

The Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet will be standardized with the generation 4++ Su-35 fighter by its onboard equipment and armament to cut its cost price and breathe a new life into the plane, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told journalists on Tuesday.
"After completing the work on the Su-30SM upgrade, changing the layout of the onboard radio-electronic equipment to make the Su-35 and the Su-30SM more standardized and thus cut the cost price, and standardizing the airborne weapon systems, this may breathe a new life into the plane," the vice-premier said.
The heavily upgraded Su-30SM plane may open a new niche for Russia in India, he noted.
"Considering that there are about 200 such planes in India [the Su-30MKI as the baseline version of the Su-30SM], an opportunity will probably open for modernizing this fleet to prolong its service life," the vice-premier explained.
Under Russia’s diversification program and amid the declining volume of the defense procurement plan, domestic defense enterprises should shift their focus towards life cycle maintenance and upgrade, Borisov noted.
‘It is necessary to move towards diversification and towards gaining foothold on the civil market. This is what we will have to do under the national project and as part of investment programs of our fuel and energy companies," the vice-premier said.
TASS reported in September 2018 that during their upgrade the Su-30SM fighters would also get AL-41F-1S engines mounted on the Su-35 planes. It was also reported in January 2019 that the trials of the modernized Su-30SM multirole fighter jets were expected to be completed before the end of 2019.

Su-30SM upgrade

The Su-30SM is being upgraded by the Irkut Aircraft Corporation and the Sukhoi Design Bureau on the assignment of Russia’s Defense Ministry with the involvement of leading Russian defense enterprises. The upgrade will boost the fighter’s combat capabilities: it will increase the range of detecting and identifying air targets and furnish the plane with new precision weapons to hit air, ground and sea targets at a range of several hundred kilometers.
The Su-30SM is a multirole supermaneuverable heavy fighter equipped with a phased array radar and canard panels. The fighters of this type are furnished with the AL-31FP engine derived from the AL-31F baseline motor of the Su-27 plane. It is distinguished by its thrust vectoring and the increased service life.
The Su-35 is a Russian-made multipurpose generation 4++ super-maneuverable fighter jet equipped with a phased array radar and steerable thrusters. The fighter is equipped with the AL-41F-1S engine, which allows it developing supersonic speed without an afterburner thrust. The experimental AL-41F-1 turbojet engine performs the function of the first-stage powerplant for the Su-57 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter.


The Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet will be standardized with the generation 4++ Su-35 fighter by its onboard equipment and armament to cut its cost price and breathe a new life into the plane, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told journalists on Tuesday.
"After completing the work on the Su-30SM upgrade, changing the layout of the onboard radio-electronic equipment to make the Su-35 and the Su-30SM more standardized and thus cut the cost price, and standardizing the airborne weapon systems, this may breathe a new life into the plane," the vice-premier said.


Risk of India-Pakistan war may hang on fate of downed pilot

As Asia’s most acrimonious rivals face off, the fate of a captured Indian Air Force pilot may hold the key to whether - and how - each side is able to step back from broader conflict.
India and Pakistan, which have fought three major wars since the partition of 1947, regularly exchange artillery and small-weapons fire across a disputed border. But the situation which flared up earlier this month escalated dramatically into Wednesday, with the loss of an Indian MiG 21 fighter jet and the pilot later paraded on Pakistani television.
While the US, Russia and China are all calling for calm, domestic political factors make it far from easy for either side in the conflict to back down. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi must contest a general election within weeks, while his counterpart, Imran Khan, faces a military that is seeking to assert its dominance at a time when Pakistan is in the eye of a financial and economic storm.
The full political fallout of the exchanges remains unclear, but it is evident that the capture of a pilot “complicates matters and will heighten tensions,” said Sandeep Shastri, a political scientist and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Jain University in Bangalore.
Neither country can afford a full-blown conflict, yet neither leader can afford to look weak - all the more so with their respective publics whipped into a nationalist frenzy.
Pakistan’s military said Wednesday it shot down two Indian warplanes in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured a pilot, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals to a level unseen in the last two decades.
India summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan and demanded immediate and safe return of an IAF pilot who was detained by Pakistan following an aerial engagement by air forces of the two countries.
India acknowledged one of its air force planes was “lost” in skirmishes with Pakistan on a chaotic day, which also saw mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier dividing the two sectors of Kashmir kill six civilians and wound several others. A helicopter crash in the region also killed six Indian air force officials and a civilian on the ground.

Many fled their homes

Thousands of Kashmiris in Pakistan-administered Kashmir have fled their homes, some bailed water out of disused bunkers, while others dug in - determined to see out the latest flare up of hostilities between India and Pakistan.
Shelling across the heavily militarised Line of Control which divides Kashmir between the two South Asian countries sent many seeking shelter Wednesday, even before India and Pakistan both claimed they had shot each other’s warplanes down, igniting fears of an all-out conflict.
Pakistani officials said four people were killed on Tuesday by shelling from the Indian side of the ceasefire line.
The death toll mounts on both sides each time sabre-rattling between India and Pakistan turns into conflict. This time, Kashmiris have watched warplanes fighting overhead and cowered under the shelling.
Many of the facts in the latest series of engagements are disputed by the two sides.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces, said two Indian jets had been shot down after they entered Pakistani airspace while responding to a Pakistani aerial mission on targets in Indian-administered Kashmir.
One of the jets crashed on the Indian-administered side of the de facto border in Kashmir, known as the Line of Control, and the other on the Pakistani-administered side.
Ghafoor said the Pakistani aircraft had carried out the strikes in response to India’s air strike the day before, but had taken deliberate action to ensure no casualties were caused.
He said Pakistani jets had locked on to six targets, in a demonstration of their capacity to hit strategic installations, but deliberately fired into open spaces where there would be no casualties.
“This was not a retaliation in true sense, but to tell Pakistan has capability, we can do it, but we want to be responsible, we don’t want an escalation, we don’t want a war,” Ghafoor told a news conference.
One of the aircraft fell in Indian-administered Kashmir, while the second came down in Pakistani-administered territory with two pilots captured, he added.
Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry, gave a different account, telling a news briefing that the Pakistan air strikes on military targets had been “foiled”.
India shot down one Pakistani plane that landed in Pakistani territory, and that it had lost one of its own planes, not two, with the pilot “missing in action”, Kumar added.


How the MiG-21 chased the F-16

(economictimes) :Pakistan Air Force sent 10 F16s from three airbases towards the Naushera sector in India. Target was to engage Indian Brigade HQ and Army installations.

Indian Air Force scrambled jets to take on incoming fighters, two MiG21s sent from Srinagar; Su30MKIs went airborne.

MiG21 Bison managed to reach the spot in time to intercept one F16 D with its R73 short-range missile.

The F16 D with two pilots got hit and two pilots ejected within Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. MiG21 Bison crashed across the border, pilot detained by Pakistan.

Why Mig21 engaged F16 ::

The taking down of a modern F16 with the relatively old MiG21 Bison is an unusual feat in aerial combat.

MiG21s, the quick-reaction jets, was based at the nearest airfi eld to the intrusion location, which is Srinagar. The jets armed with R73 short-range missiles reached the target zone fast to engage with the retreating Pakistani F16s.

The reason why more modern jets were not used is that the area of intrusion was closest to the MiG21 base.

In 1971 war, MiG21 brought down Pakistani F104 Starfighters.

How Indian Air Force foiled Pakistani attempt to attack Army brigade HQ on Wednesday

As many as ten Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 fighter jets took off from different air bases in Pakistan with an aim of destroying an Indian Army's brigade headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera sector and an oil depot near Srinagar on Wednesday.

The Army brigade headquarters is a huge establishment near the Line of Control (LoC).

The jets took off from different bases in Islamabad, Nur Khan and Sargodha in Pakistan. The Indian radars monitored the Pakistani jets coming together at 9.52 am. Immediately, four Su-30MKi fighter jets and two MiG-21 jets took off from Srinagar and Awantipora to tackle the intruders.

After entering the Indian airspace from Nowshera sector at 10 am, within two minutes, they faced the Indian jets over the skies in Rajouri and returned immediately to avoid getting hit.

As they were returning, a MiG-21 shot at them and one of the F-16s could be seen falling on their side of the LoC in Lam Keri sector. The Indian pack returned after seeing the Pakistani jets entering their airspace but the MiG-21 could not be accounted for as it did not return.

In the process, the IAF managed to thwart an air attack by Pakistan which may have caused a massive damage to the Indian Army positions.

Pakistan claimed that it captured two Indian pilots. Later, it changed the statement saying only one Indian pilot - IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan - was in its custody.

After today's attempt by the Pakistan Army and befitting reply by the Indian forces, many high-level meetings were held in New Delhi. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held an important meeting with three services chiefs.

Top Air Force sources controlling the entire operations said Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, and all possible options on retaliatory strikes were discussed.


February 27, 2019

Why IAF picked MiG-21s to take on Pakistani F-16s on Wednesday

Keyboard warriors, armchair analysts and even experts have questioned the rationale of using the MiG-21 aircraft in Combat Air Patrol (CAP) Wednesday, when India lost at least one fighter against Pakistan’s F-16s.

However, sources in the Indian Air Force defended the use of the MiG-21, saying it was one of the fighters in its inventory and that aircraft are rotated based on operations, time and threat level.

What happened Wednesday

At around 1005 hours Wednesday, three F-16s of the Pakistan Air Force violated Indian air space and entered into the Nowshera sector. They targeted four military installations and dropped bombs.
The Indian Air Force, which was on high alert, swung into action. At least two MiG-21 Bisons, which were on CAP duty, chased the F-16s and were even able to shoot down one of them.
Pakistan claims the Indian fighters crossed the LoC and were engaged by it, though it hasn’t clarified if they were engaged by its aircraft or air defence systems.
India has confirmed that it lost one MiG-21 Bison and that the pilot is ‘missing in action’. Pakistan claimed to have downed two fighters and captured two pilots, but later clarified the number to be one pilot — Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
News of Abhinandan’s capture confirmed that it was a MiG-21 Bison that went down, after initial speculation about a MiG-29.

 Why MiG-21?
Many questioned why the MiG-21 was used for the CAP and to engage the F-16s. After all, it was first inducted into the IAF 56 years ago, in 1963, and has picked up the nickname ‘Flying Coffin’ due to a spate of crashes in the last couple of decades.
However, IAF sources explained that ever since the alert level was raised immediately after the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February, various fighter aircraft were put on CAP duty.
Tuesday night, a mix of Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs and MiG-29s were in the air through the night. However, in the morning, MiG-21s were put on the duty.
“The MiG-21 is something that we have in our inventory and it would be used for operations. We have had a mixture of aircraft doing CAP, and at the time when the Pakistan Air Force jets came in, the MiG-21s were in the air, and hence, they challenged the F-16s,” an IAF officer said.
The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ was supposed to replace the MiG-21 in the IAF inventory, but due to inordinate delays in the former’s development, the IAF has been forced to drag the MiG-21 along.


Indian Army destroys 5 Pakistani posts in retaliation along LoC in J&K

  • Army destroyed five Pakistani posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday night
  • The Pak troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian houses, using villagers as human shields
The Indian Army destroyed five Pakistani posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday night in a befitting retaliation to firing from across the border, resulting in a "number of casualties" to Pak troops, a defence official said.

"The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to five posts and number of casualties to Pak army (along LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts)", the defence PRO said.

From 6:30 pm onwards, the Pakistani army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with heavy calibre weaponry along the LoC out of frustration, he said.

The Pak troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian houses, using villagers as human shields.

However, the Indian Army targeted the Pakistani posts away from civilian areas, the PRO said, adding that this resulted in a "number of casualties" to Pak troopers.

In exchange of fire, five soldiers of the Indian Army suffered minor injuries, out of which two of them were shifted to a military hospital for medical treatment; they are stable.


US should not give aid to Pakistan until it stops harbouring terrorists: Nikki Haley

Pakistan has a long history of harbouring terrorists and America should not give Islamabad even a dollar until it corrects its behaviour, Indian-American former US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has said as she praised the Trump administration for wisely restricting financial assistance to the country.

Haley, who has founded a new policy group 'Stand America Now' that will focus on how to keep the US safe, strong, and prosperous, wrote in an op-ed that when the US provides aid to nations, "it is more than fair to ask what the US gets in return for our generosity" but instead Pakistan routinely opposed the US position at the UN on several issues.

"In 2017, Pakistan received nearly USD 1 billion in US foreign aid, the sixth most of any country. Much of the aid went to the Pakistani military. Some went for road, highway, and energy projects to assist the Pakistani people," Haley wrote in the op-ed 'Foreign Aid Should Only Go To Friends'.

"On all key votes at the UN, Pakistan opposed the American position 76 per cent of the time. Much more troubling, Pakistan also has a long history of harbouring terrorists who have killed US troops in Afghanistan," she said.

Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina, added that the Trump administration has "already wisely restricted assistance to Pakistan, but there is much more to be done."

Haley, who had stepped down as the US envoy to the UN at the end of last year, has previously strongly criticised Pakistan for continuing to harbour terrorists that turn around and kill American soldiers while taking billions of dollars in foreign aid from the US.

In an interview to US magazine 'The Atlantic' in December, Haley had said the US did not need to give money to countries that wish harm to America, go behind its back and try and "stop us from doing things".

"The one example I'll give you is, look at Pakistan. Giving them over a billion dollars, and they continue to harbour terrorists that turn around and kill our soldiers —that's never okay. We shouldn't even give them a dollar until they correct it. Use the billion dollars. That's not a small amount of change," she had said.

Last September, the Trump administration cancelled $300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups active on its soil. Trump had defended his administration's decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying Islamabad does not do "a damn thing" for the US and its government helped late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Haley's new policy group aims to promote public policies that strengthen America's economy, culture, and national security.

The group will provide information to grassroots Americans, to highlight the dangers and the opportunities they face domestically and internationally. It will advocate the policies that strengthen the US at all levels of government and in the broader media and culture.


Surgical airstrike: Seven wonders India used to wound Pakistan

The Indian Air Force (IAF) jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed major terrorist camps in Balakot sector in a pre-dawn strike on Tuesday, sources said. The airstrike took place at 3.30 am, the sources said. Several Mirage 2000 aircraft dropped 1,000 kg bombs on terrorist camps across the LoC. Sources said terrorist launchpads in Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad were completely destroyed in the IAF air strikes, and that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) control rooms were also destroyed.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Armed Forces claimed that the IAF violated the LoC, and that the Pakistan Air Force responded immediately, after which the Indian aircraft went back.

India’s airstrikes come days after Jaish, the Pakistan-based terrorist group, carried out a suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 40 CRPF soldiers.

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


India Successfully Testfires Quick Reaction Surface To Air Missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) air defence system is fully activated along the International Border and Line of Control to thwart any retaliation from Pakistan, sources in Defence Ministry confirmed here.

IAF has conducted airstrikes at multiple targets in PoK and dropped 1,000 kg bombs destroying several terror camps at 0330 hrs by crossing the LoC.

India successfully test-fired short-range Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) off Odisha coast on Tuesday.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two missiles from a test facility at Chandipur in Balasore district.

The missiles were fired from a canister mounted on a rotatable truck-based launch unit, said sources.

The missile, which has a strike range of about 30 km, is capable of killing aerial targets, tanks and bunkers, sources added.

The success came hours after the India Air Force launched strikes on terror camps along the Line of Control, eliminating "a very large number" of terrorists and their trainers.

The Defence Ministry congratulated DRDO for successful test-firing of indigenous QRSAM demonstrating robust control, aerodynamics and maneuvering capabilities.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed her appreciation to the team on achieving all the main objective.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also congratulated DRDO for achieving the feat.


"It Was Dark": Pakistan Minister Trolled On Twitter After Explaining Air Force Role

 Pakistan defence minister Pervez Khatak was relentlessly trolled on Twitter on Tuesday after he apparently told reporters that their forces were ready to repel the Indian attack but "it was dark". In a pre-dawn air strike, 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft of the Indian Air Force targeted a sprawling Jaish-e Mohammed terror training camp at Balakot in Pakistan.

In what appeared to be a press conference held later, Mr Khatak is heard explaining the role of the Pakistan air force. In the video clip, which was shared by Pakistani journalists on social media, Mr Khatak is heard saying, "Our air force was ready, but since it was happening in the night and it was dark, they could not gauge the extent of the damage... So they waited and now they have received clear directions..."

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, next to him, added: "May I just add. The Pakistan Air Force was already air-bound. We were ready for all eventualities."

NDTV can't verify the authenticity of the video.

Through the day, the minister was targeted on social media.

Pakistan has warned India of retaliation. "The response will surely come," the Pakistan defence minister said. "We will surprise you, wait for that surprise. Response will come differently," Pakistan's army spokesperson Major General Asif Gafoor said.

The response, Pakistan said, will come at a time and place of their choice.


February 26, 2019

Pak drone shot down near International Border of Gujarat

A Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was on Tuesday shot down near the International Border in Kutch district of Gujarat, police sources said.
Debris of the UAV was seen near Nanghatad village in Abdasa taluka of Kutch, they said.
On hearing a loud sound around 6 am, villagers went to the spot and found the debris of the UAV, the sources said.
Asked if a Pakistani UAV had been shot down by the Indian armed forces, a police official, on condition of anonymity, said, "Such an incident has happened, we are investigating the matter."
The official, however, refused to elaborate further.
Earlier, government sources said that in a pre-dawn strike, combat jets of Indian Air Force bombed terror camps at multiple locations across the Line of Control on the Pakistani side, 12 days after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group carried out the dastardly Pulwama attack in Kashmir.
They said the IAF's Mirage 2000 fighter jets pounded the terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti in the well-planned strike destroying Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the operation.


IAF jets strike terror camps across LoC in early morning raid

In an early morning strike, 12 Indian Mirage-2000 fighter jets have struck at terrorist targets in Pakistan, destroying several training camp of the Jaish e Mohammed, the terror outfit that had carried out a suicide attack in Pulwama on February 14.

Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the air force crossed the border and dropped precision strike 1,000-kg bombs on terror camps, causing considerable damage. The Indian Air Force strikes could have caused around 200-300 casualties on the Pakistani side.

The strike is believed to have taken place around 4 am and the Pakistani establishment came out with a public statement an hour later, claiming air space violation by India. The Pakistani military claimed that an Indian jet dropped a payload (bomb) at Balakot without causing damage. Balakot is located well within Pakistan and not in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The strike is believed to have caused significant damage and a detailed assessment is likely to be shared shortly.

An Indian Air Force EARLY WARNING AIRCRAFT took off early in the morning today. These aircraft are used to track enemy movement and direct own jets to targets. The aircraft appears to be the indigenous early warning jet based on the Embraer platform.

Also, an air to air refuler is in the air since morning. The IL 78 is utilized for giving fighter jets extra range and public data shows it loitering close to the western borders, and heading back to its home base at Agra.

- - - - - - - - -

9.19am: The government to brief media on the India Air Force strike soon. The government earlier declined to comment on the issue even though the Pakistani side confirmed that India conducted air strikes across LoC in Balakot region in Pakistan.

9.09am: Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor confirms the damage done by the Indian Air Force fighter jets.

9.07am: As per News18, the Indian Air Force strikes could have caused around 200-300 casualties on the Pakistani side.

9.05am: NC leader and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah lauds the Air Force, says "if this is true this was not a small strike by any stretch of imagination".

9.01am: The government has so far declined to comment on the issue but has also not denied about reports of the Indian Air Force conducting strikes across the Line of Control.

9.00am: As many as 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that completely destroyed several terror camps across the Line of Control in Pakistan.

8.38am: Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor claims the Indian aircraft intruded into Pakistan from the Muzaffarabad sector.

8.20am: Around 10 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft strike several terror camps across the LoC.

IAF-Mirage-2000-jets in Pakistan Bombing Mission


Fully prepared for befitting response to any Indian aggression: Pakistani Army

A top Pakistan Army official said on Monday that his country's armed forces are "fully prepared" for a befitting response to "any Indian aggression or misadventure".

Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met Air chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and the two chiefs deliberated on operational environment including threat and response.

"Both chiefs expressed satisfaction on readiness, coordination and synergy. Pakistan Armed Forces are fully prepared for a befitting response to any Indian aggression or misadventure," he added.

His statement came amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan after the February 14 suicide attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Days after the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said security forces were given a free hand to avenge the dastardly act.

Ghafoor said Gen Bajwa also visited Headquarters Rawalpindi Corps, where he was briefed on operational situation and state of readiness along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary (WB).


Israel sells India 50 military drones in 500-mln-USD deal

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has agreed with India's Ministry of Defense on the sale of 50 Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for 500 million U.S. dollars, the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

The Heron, a medium-altitude long-endurance drone capable of performing strategic and tactical missions, can carry a payload of up to 470 kg, stay in the air for more than 45 hours, reach 35,000 feet high and has a flight range of 350 km.

The total length of the aircraft is 8.5 meters, with a wingspan of 16.6 meters.

The Heron is one of the most operational weapon systems in the Israel Air Force, which uses it for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.

In recent years, the Heron has also been sold to France and Turkey, and leased to Canada and Australia. Morocco also operates the Heron acquired from France.

Last June, Israel signed a 600-million-dollar deal to lease 7 UAVs from the enlarged Heron-TP model to the German army.

Established in 1953 as a government company, IAI is considered a global leader in the supply of technologies and systems in the domains of land, air, sea, outer space and cyber.


India likely to induct air-launched BrahMos-A by early 2020

The air-launched BrahMos cruise missile developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture (JV) BrahMos Aerospace is likely to be inducted with the Indian Air Force (IAF) in early 2020, a JV official told Jane's during the 20-24 February Aero India 2019 exhibition in Bangalore.

The official said that the BrahMos-A cruise missile is set to begin its final developmental or certification trials in the third quarter of 2019, more than 20 months after the weapon successfully completed its first flight test. The missile's induction will begin immediately after two certified launches against a naval and a ground target are carried out, he added.

As part of the upcoming trials, which are expected to take place before the end of the year, a BrahMos-A missile fitted with a 300 kg warhead will be fired from an IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighter to engage a target at a range of 290 km.

The 2.5-tonne, two-stage, air-launched cruise missile is a modified variant of its basic naval/land configuration. It features several design refinements, which include a lighter propulsion system, as well as redesigned fins and nose cap.

If successful, the IAF aims to equip two Su-30MKI (modified) squadrons (totaling 42 fighters) with the BrahMos-A to augment its precision-strike capabilities. In this development, India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has similarly readied a second modified Su-30MKI at its Nashik complex in western India and will ready remaining aircraft in phases.

During the show, the JV also exhibited lighter variant of the air-launched BrahMos, called BrahMos NG, equipped on underwing pylons of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk 1A aircraft. The intended air-launched variant would be initially developed to be fired from LCA Tejas Mk 1A aircraft, each of which would carry a maximum of two missiles.


February 25, 2019

Issues in upgrade of An-32 aircraft resolved

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reason to cheer as all issues related to the upgrade of An-32 transport aircraft, its workhorse, have been resolved, according to the head of the Antonov State Corporation of Ukraine. At Aero India, Ukraine also offered its new An-132 aircraft to the IAF as a replacement for the An-32 fleet.

Time limit ::

“We are optimistic that the pending issues will be closed shortly… Ukraine should supply all spares and material in two years. After that, it is on India how fast the upgrades are finished,” Oleksandr Donets, President of Antonov, said in a conversation with The Hindu on the sidelines of Aero India. Ukraine has begun supplying the upgrade kits to India.

Mr. Donets said that preliminary discussions have been held with the IAF on further life extension of the An-32 fleet by another five years. Antonov, which is the design organisation, has already checked the feasibility of further five year life extensions by conducting testing and ground vibrations.

In 2009, India finalised a major upgrade and life extension plan for the entire fleet of 105 An-32 aircraft acquired from Soviet Union under a $400 million deal which would extend their life to 40 years. So far, 46 aircraft have been upgraded, of which 40 were done in Ukraine.

The rest were to be carried out in India by IAF’s base repair depot in Kanpur. But the programme came to a halt after bitter relations between Moscow and Kiev following the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Mr. Donets said that the delay was mainly due to delay in securing spare parts produced in Russia and the gravity of the problem has now “decreased.”

At the air show, an An-132 prototype, an upgraded variant of the An-32, performed impressive turns, loops, low and high speed manoeuvres. According to Antonov, the aircraft jointly designed by Ukraine and Saudi Arabia can carry a load of upto 9 tonnes and land at high altitudes and on unpaved runways.

Mr. Donets said the An-132, which is a major improvement in terms of features and performance over the An-32, makes an ideal replacement for the IAF, and offered joint production in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa examined the aircraft at the show. During Aero India, Antonov briefed the IAF and also held several meetings for possible partnerships on the An-132 programme.

Stating that they were looking for international partners for the An-132 programme, Mr. Donets said his team had held discussions with Peru and Myanmar.

“We have completed contract for the demonstrator. Currently, Saudi Arabia is approaching for a contract for serial production,” he said.

In the pipeline ::

An Avro replacement programme of the IAF is currently in the pipeline, for which the Airbus C-295 has been chosen in partnership with Tata group. However, final contract discussions have been delayed.

Another project for the joint development of a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) with Russia was shelved. The An-132 is in the same class as the C-295 and the now shelved MTA.