GROUP OF 2 Mig-29K
150 KMS SOUTH-WEST OF SOUTHERN NAVAL COMMAND
Mig Pilots were immediately alerted by the ATC regarding the attack by Su-33s & were directed further south to attack the Su-33â€™s. The Indra III radar was a further development of the Indra radar with a radar range of more than 200kms. The Mig pilots were being provided with the location of Su-33â€™s continuously from the Indra III radar via the ATC. The Migs were on full afterburner so as to spot the Su-33â€™s before they went out of the Indra III radar coverage. When the Migs were 50kms behind the Su-33â€™s, the tracking feedback from the ATC went blank. Now the Migs were on their own, only positive aspect for them was that they will be able to spot the huge IR signature from the Su-3â€™s using the IRST. Unaware of the Migs behind them, the Su-33s were cruising along south west, to avoid Sri Lanka. As soon as the IRST tracked all the ten Su-33s, they reduced their afterburners & went to cruising speed. Each Mig pilot selected two Su-33s & assigned them to the R27TE. The huge IR signature from the Su-33s, their distance from the Migs & they being unaware of the Migs all were going to make this a sure kill. Both the Mig pilots immediately launched the R27ETâ€™s, they waited for a minute, before switching on the radar in order to not alert the RWR of the Su-33s. As the missiles were in the striking range, both the Migs switched on their radars together, as the radars clearly identified the threat scenario, they immediately launched two R27ERs each targeting four more Su-33s. All the four R27ETâ€™s found their target without difficulty & the Su-33 pilots died immediately without even knowing what had happened. The RWRâ€™s from the rest of the Su-33s started bleeping & they broke formation, but then it was too late for 4 more Su-33s, the four R27ERs had no difficulty in finding their targets. Now only two more Su-33s were left & now it was a one is to one fight between the Migs-29Ks & Su-33s. Both the Migs immediately followed their targets, they were at an advantage & immediately tracked the Su-33 using the helmet mounted sight & launched one R73. The Su-33 started pulling up & immediately banked left in a 6G turn & thus broke off the missile lock, but the Mig pilot was still behind him & this time he again launched another R73, which hit the left engine & exploded. The Su-33 was now flying straight into the ocean below, while the other Mig pilot also succeeded in shooting down his target after launching 3 missiles. It was a very stressful flight for the Mig pilots. Now they have finished their task & headed back. Since the runway at Naval command was hit, they were diverted to the Kozhikode airport.
IAF personnel at the airforce command near the airport were dumbstruck by the huge explosion they heard & it took them some time to find out what had happened, which meant some precious time was lost. They immediately tried to contact the Southern Naval Head Quarters to warn them & also the Southern Air Command, Chennai. By then it was too late & the Southern Naval head quarters was hit. Airforce command at Thambaram responded immediately passing on the message to Naval command at Vizag. The Mig-29â€™s at Thambaram were scrambled & they were now heading towards Thiruvananthapuram in search of the Su-33â€™s, but they were too late & the Su-33â€™s had long gone. IN was now desparate to find out the Chinese carrier group. The Naval command at Vizag immediately took steps to launch two Tu-142 Bears along with four Mig-29K escorts in search of the carrier group & also send a warning to the Andaman naval command. One IL-78MKI of the IN was also launched to provide refuelling support to the Mig-29Kâ€™s on CAP. The Bears were upgraded in 2012 to carry 4 air launched Brahmos each.
In had elected to purchase 40 additional Mig-29Kâ€™s from Russia as per the provisions in the contract for Admiral Gorskhov. Of these additional 40, 20 nos. were allocated for ADS & the remaining 20 were split into 2 groups of 10 each. One group was based at Goa & the other based at Vizag. IN also ordered 2 IL-78MKI to provide refuelling support to the land based aircrafts.
150 MILES EAST OF SRI LANKA
01:00 HRS, FRIDAY
An LTTE Boat was waiting around with only 3 personnel. All the three of them knew that this was a suicidal mission & they will never be able to see the next days light. But this was an important job, which would help their organisation to get more funds in the coming years. The boat looked like an ordinary fishing trawler, but had two barrels at the back loaded full of fuel. It had a tin roof at some height & beneath the roof, there stood three huge tubes fixed with rigid supports to the boat. The tubes were inclined at an angle of 80 deg & were pointing towards the front of the boat. The tin sheets & the side wooden covers hid these three tubes to the outer word. This was the new launcher for the long range manpad (if you can call it so, since it was too heavy for any one person to carry) developed by China, which had a range of 30 kms & was having an infrared seeker. This was just one boat, there were three more similar boats spread out in the Indian ocean on the expected path of the Indian aircrafts.
This group was waiting for the Indian maritime patrol aircrafts to show up. Their aim was to knockout one or if possible more patrol aircrafts, so that they will not be a hindrance to Chinese escape. One or two patrol aircrafts were not much of a threat to the carrier force at present any way.
After half an hour, one of the LTTE men spotted an Tu-142 along with 2 Mig 29K flying at a sufficiently long distance from the Bear, through his long range IR binoculars supplied by Chinese in the afternoon. Immediately they started their boat & started cruising slowly, once the aircrafts flew over them, they immediately turned around & oriented their boats so that the tube pointed towards the Tu-142. One person immediately removed the tin cover & ran for safety towards the cabin. The other person immediately gave the launch command & the missile leapt from the launcher with a huge plume of smoke. The missile seeker could easily identify the hot engine exhaust from the Tu-142 against the dark cool sky. The crew of the Tu-142 had misjudged the LTTE boat as a fishing trawler & had ignored it. Once alerted by the missile launch, the Tu-142 pilot went in for hard dive, but the missile had clearly identified its target & was rushing towards the portside engine. The missile hit the portside engine & exploded a large part of the wing was damaged & the Tu-142 was now flying uncontrollably towards the sea. Mean while the LTTE men again loaded one more missile & were now trying to orient their boat so as to target the Mig-29K. But it was not that simple, the Mig-29â€™s were fast & agile, it was not so easy to aquire them, they were diving down on the boat with their only weapon for the present job, the 30mm gun. The frantic LTTE men launched the missile even before they could orient it towards the Mig as a distraction. The Mig pilots were not distracted by the launch, the pilot from the first Mig aimed at the boat & pressed the trigger, the 30mm rounds from the gun teared the boat & immeadiately sink it. Only two LTTE men were lucky not to be hit by the bullets, they were hanging on to the life jackets, but they knew that their end was nearing as there was no way they could get back from the shark infested ocean. To aid to the misery the blood from their colleagues body was gushing out into the cold ocean. But they were successful in achieving their objective. With the loss of one Tu-142, the mission for the second one was more difficult. Both the Migâ€™s assigned to the lost Tu-142â€™s joined the other two Migs to provide cap for the lone Bear.
00:00 HRS, FRIDAY
An emergency meeting was convened by the Air Marshal. IAF wanted to avenge the strike at the Aerospace command centre. After intense discussions for about 20 minutes, a decision was taken to launch a squadron of Su-30MKIâ€™s from Pune in search of the Chinese carrier. In- flight refuelling was to be provided by 2 IL-78MKIâ€™s. Only instruction for the MKI pilots was that not a single Su-33 should survive. The Carrier & its other support ships will be dealt with by the Navy. Eastern Naval command was immediately informed about the planned IAF action. This was going to be the first ever operation of an Air force & Navy combined to search & destroy a Carrier.