Well, there would always be those little traditional
differences between the Army and Air Force guys but when you look at the big picture, cooperative action is essential for optimum results. As repeatedly proven with other scenarios, air-power is critically essential. IA's initial attacks were'nt totally succesful either. (once again, lack of SA)
Despite Kargil being a radically different environment and the initial lack of intelligence and situational awareness, the air force did it's job at the end. They would have done even better if they had a clearer picture from the start but that was'nt their fault. The Kargil environment was far more dangerous for infantry than aircraft, neccessitating the latter's use at some level or the other.
AfaI remember, only some 30 odd PGM's were used at Kargil, out of which only a handful were launched at Tiger Hill and its surrounding features.
Just nine LGB missions were flown in total. 575 attack, 31 Mi-17 attack, 509 air defence, 150 recon and 500 escort sorties were flown in total. This is small in comparison to the number of sorties that western coalition aircraft fly, during conflict.
- Shivji's site should have a video- a clearer version of which was shown- showing a LGB streaking towards a tent camp, with two members legging it and not even bothering to wake their compatriots up. The BDA noted some 30 odd Paki troops decimated.
An LDP video shown by NDTV/Starnews at the time, had something like 50-100 soldiers clearly visible and walking around without a clue! They were decimated within seconds. This scenario was'nt even what the IAF trained for but they went from new weapons system integration to successful implementation within a few weeks.
Regarding targets, even though the AF could not/did not replace the Army's role in clearing out Sangars, it did destroy a number of them. The Army provided coordinates to attack and also led helicopters to their targets, with officers onboard. Even the strategic targets which were LGB'ed, were given to the AF by the Army.
There was never any blame game or accusation in this whole episode. Air Marshal Tipnis and I even visited and addressed our field formations together. It is wrong on the part of some media persons to give an out of context and wrong twist to some part of Army Headquarters’ in-house report which was written to keep a record of events and to draw lessons from
Exactly. All this AF vs Army is an unneccessary episode.