MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

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Aditya_V
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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 20 Jan 2020 11:07

And to add how the PAF retreated once 2 More Su 30 MKI's and 2 more Mig 29s started to come into the area- they still had more Amraams but they realized 4 Su-30s plus 2 Mig 29;s would not be worth it even with 8-11 F-16's in the air already and BVR sabres out.

They shot the first Amraams when the Su30MKI were at Subsonic cap with good tactical postion, when the 2 Su30MKi dodged these and tried to come back they shot 3 more- after this when more Su 30 and Mig 29 came in they tucked tail and retreated, if were in the mood to escalate we could have caused serious damage to the PA then.

I think the Pakistani Army is also thankful PAF could not our military targets with H-4 Raad, 8 REWK bombs and 1 LGB- thats a lot of expensive ordinance.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby ramana » 21 Jan 2020 02:08

X-Post from Artillery thread.



Note FizzleYa visited Denel in October 2019 i.e way after Nowshera fiasco.
Could be to hand over lessons learned with Raad Fail-e-Hind.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby hnair » 24 Jan 2020 10:08

x-posting from khan-tech thread:

brar_w wrote:
F-35 sensors help ground interceptors engage “air-breathing” targets


The Lockheed Martin F-35 has demonstrated has demonstrated a capability to downlink targeting data about multiple “air-breathing threats” to ground forces.
.....
The company did not state the size of the targets engaged, but such a capability would prove useful against low flying targets such as cruise missiles.

The work also demonstrated a way to engage low-flying threats that are over the horizon or terrain masked.



Considering the undulating terrain around LoC, this is a capability that hopefully, the new ADS unified command under CDS would look into. We now know that the pakis are going to muster a large force of solahs and bunders to loosen off low-flying standoff weapons at their convenient time and it is going to be taxing to have a similar number of aircraft on air to nix that. Therefore would be ideal if AD artillery (against PGMs) + Spyder (against UAV/powered ordinance) + MRSAM (against PAF piloted craft) can use airborne fighter radars to cue-in and do the smack down without crossing LoC.

Most of the building blocks of this capability exist with IAF and IA, except for MRSAM deployment. This looks like an integration of systems between ADS of both Army/IAF and the fighters in the air than a technically risky project.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby brar_w » 24 Jan 2020 18:57

hnair wrote: This looks like an integration of systems between ADS of both Army/IAF and the fighters in the air than a technically risky project.


It requires the creation of an Integrated Fire Control network (and not just upgrading a C2 system or multiple C2 systems) and is technically challenging as is evident from the fact that the US Army and northrop have been working on it for nearly a decade and it is still about a year and a halfto two years from deployment. You essentially need to create a virtual network that can interface with legacy and closed command and control systems and make both parties generators and recipients of fire-control-level tracks generated by a wide range of disparate sensors, some not designed for FC duties, operating in different frequencies of the RF spectrum and even in other parts of the EMS. This should not be confused with a Command and Control system that accepts and possess sensor feeds from multiple parties and ovrelays them for SA purposes. That capability has existed for decades.

The US Army's lift is actually more heavier than what the USN does with its NIFC-CA (which has been operational for a couple of years) because it goes back and requires that systems fielded decades ago be able to utilize and generate tracks for the same fire control network without extensive modifications to those systems themselves (so the virtual cloud must be able to accommodate a wide range of disparate systems at different technical capabilities). The Air to Ground (or ship) capability has an additional layer of technical capability in that it requires a much more capable data-link than your Link-16 or systems designed to similar requirements. The USN realized very early that even with growth, the standard Link-16 could not handle the sort of data-transfer needs that the Naval Integrated Fire Control Network needed to be passed on to AEGIS. So they developed the Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) capability and deployed it on the Growlers and E-2D that would aid the Link-16 aircraft to more effectively pass on the data back to the required vessels. Similarly, they required all Block III Super Hornets (and block II retrofits) to have TTNT from the start. The F-35 already has a dedicated high-frequency data-link capable of doing this (MADL) and hence they just built a MADL receiver/transmitter ground unit and integrated it into the loop for this demonstration.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7088&start=1560#p2406280

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rishi » 28 Jan 2020 09:01

Image

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 28 Jan 2020 11:50

Citation is very clear, PAF came of cause a lot harm to the Indian Army( deliberate miss is a lie) and to take down multiple IAF aircraft, the Mig 21 Bisons appearing at Mach plus speed from behind the Pri panjal's spoil the entire swift retort plan.

Unfortunately the Mig 21 Bison got shot down and we shot down 1 of our own Mi 17.

It is important not to forget the deep ingress and shooting down of Pakistani UAV in Gujarat on 27-Feb-19 morning by the Spyder system near Naliya airbase.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby tsarkar » 28 Jan 2020 13:18

The citation is extremely poorly drafted.

"advanced fourth generation...JF-17" :roll: This reads like giving a certificate to the Pakistanis. It is sad we have poets in Ministry of Defence rather than bureaucrats with proper understanding of military matters.

"enemy's immense numerical and technological superiority" :roll: This reflects very poorly in IAF sector leaders, Western Air Command and Air Headquarters in New Delhi for -

1. not anticipating Pakistani reaction to Balakot, especially since Fiza'ya H&D was hurt and a response, even if irrational, would be forthcoming.
2. letting the scenario develop with Pakistanis building massive local superiority
3. not having a proper response to the scenario.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 28 Jan 2020 14:09

That is because we have believed in propaganda that Pakis respect borders want peace, they are nothing but wannabe Mohammed Ghaznis and Gori's.

We were worried whether we had escalated too much, diplomatic reactions, IAF probably had not completed its BDA completely- the Pakis however would have experienced what had happened on 26-Feb-19. if it was only H&D they could have denied like Surgical strike with Ghaffoor tweets IAF hit some trees, but something serious should have happened for PAF to come so mad on 27-Feb-19- it can't be just H&D. I think there some unexpectedly high number of Pakistani military casualties on 26-Feb-19 morning.

The Pakis would have gone in silence mode after that, IAF/NRO would have using satellites/ technical intelligence, GOI would be using HUMINT etc... we probably did not know at the time the extent of our success but they would have known. That explains why we did again escalate again when they came for our Brigade HQ, our leadership would have felt they have suffered enough and best not to escalate.

Also post removal of 370 in J&K, the way the Pakistanis have been working themselves into a frenzy using all tools except heavy military attacks which was expected of them is telling.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Larry Walker » 28 Jan 2020 18:49

tsarkar wrote:The citation is extremely poorly drafted.

"advanced fourth generation...JF-17" :roll: This reads like giving a certificate to the Pakistanis. It is sad we have poets in Ministry of Defence rather than bureaucrats with proper understanding of military matters.

"enemy's immense numerical and technological superiority" :roll: This reflects very poorly in IAF sector leaders, Western Air Command and Air Headquarters in New Delhi for -

1. not anticipating Pakistani reaction to Balakot, especially since Fiza'ya H&D was hurt and a response, even if irrational, would be forthcoming.
2. letting the scenario develop with Pakistanis building massive local superiority
3. not having a proper response to the scenario.


The citation is written for Abhi, so enemy is described based against the equipment he was flying.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rakesh » 28 Jan 2020 20:44

NBS, please change your username. Any issues with changing your username, please advise here and either myself or one of the other mods will change it.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 29 Jan 2020 00:30

tsarkar wrote:The citation is extremely poorly drafted.

"enemy's immense numerical and technological superiority" :roll: This reflects very poorly in IAF sector leaders, Western Air Command and Air Headquarters in New Delhi for -

1. not anticipating Pakistani reaction to Balakot, especially since Fiza'ya H&D was hurt and a response, even if irrational, would be forthcoming.
2. letting the scenario develop with Pakistanis building massive local superiority
3. not having a proper response to the scenario.

The technological superiority is wrt Abhi's Mig-21, which is true enough. IAF shouldn't be flying Bisons in 2019 but that is a much larger procurement and planning issue with several culprits. The citation has to say what the situation was not try to hide the IAF's and/or the GoI's failings.

Same with numerical superiority. The pakis did have that. Why and could it have been avoided is a long discussion and not pertinent to the citation itself. Abhi did go up against superior numbers and superior technology and it is not wrong for his citation to mention that.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Nikhil T » 29 Jan 2020 01:21

Aren't citations prepared by the Service, not the MoD? In general, the quality of Press Releases in GoI is very poor (not worse than TSP), but still not befitting our stature.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Ankit Desai » 11 Feb 2020 07:10

‘Pakistan’s version a story, a facade,’ says former IAF chief BS Dhanao

Close to one year after the Balakot air strike, Dhanoa talks about the details of the operation, what it took to plan and execute, what it means for India’s future military equation with Pakistan, and the capabilities of the Rafale jets.

Pakistan has tried to project the Balakot operation as a military and diplomatic victory — the Imran Khan government says it brought down an Indian Air Force jet and captured the pilot. It says it brought focus on Kashmir and projected India as a global threat. What do you say about these claims?

Military victory is measured on the scale of whether you have achieved the stated political objective or not. Our objective in Balakot was to hit the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group as a retaliation for February 14 Pulwama suicide attack on a CRPF convoy. It so happened that the JeM camp was inside Pakistan in Manshera and not in Occupied Kashmir. We hit the camp at Jaba top in Balakot.

The fact that we hit the camp is very clear, as is evident from the open-source satellite imagery. Then there is circumstantial evidence as they (Pakistan) isolated the place. If it was just a seminary, and not a military establishment, there was no need to isolate the place. They did not allow anyone to go near the site for 40 days, and then took a guided tour to a mosque in the facility, which Indian bombs had deliberately avoided. The fact is that the terror camp was hit with a lot of casualties, which the Pakistanis were hiding. So the military victory statement is false.

Secondly, Pakistan’s military response the day after Balakot was against Indian military targets, though we had hit a non-military target at Markaz Syed Ahmad Shaheed in Balakot. The Pakistanis missed their military targets south of Pir Panjal because of the calibre of weapons used. When you do signalling, either you drop a very small weapon so that nobody dies unintentionally, or you drop it outside the safety distance of the target.

Most of these bombs have fallen 500 metres to 1.5km of the targets. It is evident from this that these were not intended misses but poor targeting. Most probably, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) must have used commercial digital elevation models. The type of weapons they have used is first-generation standoff ammunition, whereas we used a third-generation standoff weapon. So that is how you judge a military victory.

A classic example is the World War I Jutland naval battle, in which the British lost more ships and sailors but prevented the Germans from achieving their military objective. So you don’t measure by bean counting. We lost a MiG-21, but Pakistan lost an F-16 that we cannot prove. Technically we have information beyond doubt that two aircraft fell in that area on February 27, 2019. One aircraft belongs to us, second aircraft we are saying is an F-16 on basis of evidence from our electronic sensors. Abhinandan Varthaman was flying a MiG-21 Bison that does not have non-cooperative target recognition capability which the Su-30 or other modern aircraft have got. So he on his own cannot confirm that he shot down an F-16. Our other sensors — AWACS and radars — have all confirmed that the aircraft that went down in that sector appears to be a Pakistan F-16 fighter.

Is the aircraft that went down the one IAF identified as Red Mike?

No, the one we identified we showed to the media too. The Pakistanis wanted us to show the full video. The fact is, if we show you the full video, do you want us to expose our technical capability, given there are gaps due to mountainous terrain, or our ability to intercept their secure communication — all this just to win brownie points in the media?

Let me give you an example, the same thing happened on September 7, 1965, the day IAF’s Mystere aircraft raided Sargodha airbase in hinterland Pakistan and Squadron Leader AB Devayya got a Mahavir Chakra many years later. In that raid, IAF lost a Mystere aircraft that fell on their side, and we did not claim the kill that time. But PAF lost a vastly superior Starfighter. Many years later, Pakistan acknowledged the fact.

Pakistan says that they are for global peace and India is a threat to it?

If they are for global peace, why are they sponsoring terrorism on our soil? They did not even keep their air force in the loop, or else they would have put terminal defences outside the Balakot camp. After all, their air force has an approximate idea of what kind of weapons we own. And if they know our standoff weapon capability, they would have put terminal defences at Balakot. Why was the site devoid of any defence? Why did the entire air defence of Pakistan react to the IAF’s feint towards Bhawalpur (headquarters of JeM). I don’t think PAF was even aware that Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was running a terrorist training camp at Balakot.

So was it purely a Pakistan Army-ISI operation, and the Air Force was kept out?

Otherwise they would have defended it with terminal weapons. PAF are capable of deploying terminal weapons — they would have deployed; I would have deployed. They did not deploy, as they were out of loop.

About the aircraft going down in that sector, PAF launched a combat search-and-rescue mission, which is always launched to pick up your own pilot as you know the location. It is not done to pick up a prisoner of war who will never be static, and for that you give this task to the ground troops. They have lost a combat aircraft and we have recordings of it.

Do you think it was a Jordanian F-16 A/B that went down on February 27?

The evidence from the electronic intelligence is that it was an F-16. The Pakistanis have tied themselves in knots over the whole issue. Where was the need for the DG ISPR to say that we have not used an F-16. After all, what was there to hide? It is because Pakistan were building a story, a facade. Why say one pilot was captured, and two more were in the area? It must be a two seater F-16.

Then they said that one was being located and other had reached military hospital. And then suddenly, in the night, the hospital guy vanishes! Our claim is based on our electronic signatures, not what Pakistan is saying. The kill is attributed to Abhinandan as there was nobody else in that sector.

What was Pakistan’s game plan the next day when they tried to retaliate? Was PAF intending to attack?

Yes. PAF had a clear-cut intent to attack, but we thwarted the move. We were prepared for retaliation. We expected them to attack. IAF along with the navy and the army were prepared for an all-out escalation. After Pulwama, for the first time, all three services told the political leadership that should it escalate, we were ready. That is why the Modi government gave the go-ahead. We did not even bat an eyelid. For Pakistan alone, we are always ready.

Our air defence responded well. We used a lot of tricks but I can’t tell you those. They launched stand-off weapons. Their plan was to hit some of our forward installations. Many of them are well with the range of their own artillery. But they wanted to prove a point. They had a package of 24-26 aircraft; they had the initiative, the time and the place. But we were prepared with two upgraded Mirage 2000s, two SU-30 MKIs and six Bisons got airborne from Srinagar. If we had signed the contract in time, it would have been six Rafales.

And six Rafales would have added a totally different dimension?

Totally. All the PAF aircraft, including F-16s would have been scurrying for cover against Rafales.

You talk a lot about the Rafale. Can you explain the capabilities of the Rafale fighter in such situations?

In beyond visual range combat, it is basically your situational awareness which wins you the day. Your ability to look first and shoot first. This is where Rafale comes first.

If you were to compare Rafale with F-16 or F-18 fighters…

We evaluated the two US-made fighters and rejected them. Only Rafale and Eurofighter met the operational requirements. The American aircraft are good, but those are the F-35 and F-22.

Was the only action south of Pir Panjal or at other places along the Indo-Pak border?

They had done other feints and decoys all along to ensure that we don’t push all our forces to the north. The Pakistanis did not come after February 27. Remember the message in Balakot was to the JeM terror group. Did they get the message? Answer is yes, as till the Indian general elections, there was not a single terrorist attack. They knew that all the three services were forwardly deployed.

This was the first time that the Indian Air Force attacked Pakistan. It was always the Indian Army that was preferred in the past. Did you really come out saying that IAF will go in first?

That meeting is classified, so I am not telling you. Not only me. Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis (Kargil), Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy (2001) and Air Chief Marshal Fali Major (2008) had also said that they were ready. IAF has always been ready.

When did you focus on Balakot?

When the target was given to me by the Indian intelligence agencies. We got exceptional, pinpointed, actionable intelligence, including who is staying in which building. Targets were chosen after that. We don’t hit kids only learning to recite the holy Quran.

How closely guarded was the information on Balakot attack?

Admiral Sunil Lanba, as chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, made it clear that should it escalate, all should be ready for an all-out war. Which service would go in first was decided on the basis of the chosen target. Balakot had to be the air force. If it was a kill-all destroy-all mission, we would have used supersonic low level Brahmos missile, to which Pakistan did not have any answer.

Was PM Modi in know of the operation from start to end?

Ask the National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval; it is above my pay grade. All I know is that the hit took place at 3.30am IST at Balakot. It was according to plan because at that time the terrorists were still in bed; yet to rise for the fajr namaaz at 4am. I was monitoring from my home using secure communications, the Vice-Chief and Western Air Commander were in operations room. I briefed the defence minister, the NSA, and the two chiefs after the attack.

Were you sure that the target was hit?

The weather was the main criterion. It could have been an abort due to the weather. The decision was with Western Air Command. If this plan was aborted, we would have launched other weapons. We hit the target with five stand-off weapons. The ‘target hit’ information was delayed as weapons for video recording the kill failed, and the satellite pass at 8.30am could not pick up much due to clouds. The first confirmation came through synthetic aperture camera, showing penetration in the roof of Balakot buildings. We hit three buildings and left one deliberately. The weapon is designed in such a way that building survives but the occupants don’t.

Latest intelligence reveals that Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot site. Will things change on the terror front?

With the induction of the S-400 missile system and the Rafales, we will be in position to effect a behavioural change within the Pakistan establishment. If we had these two platforms or only Rafale with us on February 27, and we had shot down four or five of their aircrafts, the behavioural change would have taken place immediately.

On August 2, 2002, after the Machchil Sector attack by IAF under Krishnaswamy, the Pakistanis did not respond as they were technically not capable. Their air force did not even try to bomb our positions as we took out Pakistan Army post intruding into our side of the Line of Control (LoC).

What if Pakistani forces do not learn from Balakot, and try a Pulwama-like attack again?

I think the government will hit them again. This time harder, and take out the buildings also so that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.


Very informative read so posting in full.

-Ankit

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 11 Feb 2020 08:15

Great read Ankit. Thanks for posting. He has given out a *lot* of information.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rakesh » 11 Feb 2020 08:46

Exactly and also put to rest C Fair’s conspiracy theories!

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby hnair » 11 Feb 2020 10:18

Rakesh, she will call ACM some new names and claim he has no perspective, unlike her. She jumped the shark at Chandigarh and we should ignore her live antics from now on, but use her past work to show pakis their place in the universe.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 11 Feb 2020 11:10

Excellent and he deliberately does not talk and on Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti plus Amraam misses, Pakistan was really tight postion on 27 Feb 19 and they had only 1 card to use, early release of Wing Commander Abhinandan without harm. A few years down the line the whole truth will come out, like the 2002 incident- this is the first time someone is officially talking about it. All we had was some articles from 2009 released so assuage our feeling from the 2006-08 mass terror attacks accross India which were left unanswered.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Jayram » 11 Feb 2020 11:19

That interview was excellent and explained to me why none of the SU30 MKI pilots got any recognition after the battle. None of the AIM missiles came even close to them for them to be able put into place any evasive measures. In other words a dud a damp squid or what ever else you call it. What were the F16 pilots aiming for? The round ball called earth?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 11 Feb 2020 11:39

I dont see any mention of Amraam's and much of the Air combat in that interview

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Nikhil T » 11 Feb 2020 12:29

Excellent interview - thank you! Also love that ACM has confirmed the 2002 Machlil sector action of the IAF that was under wraps until recently.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Roop » 11 Feb 2020 13:01

Aditya_V wrote:A few years down the line the whole truth will come out, like the 2002 incident- this is the first time someone is officially talking about it.


What is this "2002 Machchil incident"? I seem to have missed it. Can someone clue me in please, or provide a link? Thanks.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya_V » 11 Feb 2020 13:20

During operation Parakram, Pakis occupied a peak on our side of the LOC near the town of Kel in POK, the Army thought of 1 or 2 assaults but would lead to huge casualties, then IAF men with laser target markers designated the Paki post so M-2000 killed the 25 odd Paki soldiers there and everything went back to normal.

At that time nobody knew, Pakis claimed IAF planes had bombed them on thier side of the LOC.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Patni » 11 Feb 2020 13:23

Roop wrote:
Aditya_V wrote:A few years down the line the whole truth will come out, like the 2002 incident- this is the first time someone is officially talking about it.


What is this "2002 Machchil incident"? I seem to have missed it. Can someone clue me in please, or provide a link? Thanks.


Here is a report i found on web.
EXCLUSIVE: In 2002, India's Fighter Jets Hit Pakistan In A Surgical Strike You've Never Been Told About

The untold story of an incredible Indian Air Force secret mission during Operation Parakram.

By sudhi-ranjan-sen
It was about 2 am on 31 July, 2002. Flight Lieutenant Rajiv Mishra, a 29-year-old fighter pilot, was woken up at his living quarters at the Ambala Air Force Station. Leave for Srinagar immediately with laser designation equipment, he was told. A transport aircraft was ready and waiting at the base.

He didn't know it then, but he had been drafted for one of the most sensitive missions carried out by the Indian Air Force, the details of which had never been revealed to the outside world, until now.

Mishra flew the Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force. But that night he had not been woken up to fly. The IAF had recently acquired laser guidance systems from Israel. The technology helped fighter pilots to hit targets accurately once the target has been designated on the system. Mishra was regarded a wizard with the new technology.

Mishra flew the Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force. But that night he had not been woken up to fly.

On board the transporter, Mishra and his two colleagues were briefed by the members of the IAF Strike Cell, the elite frontline strike unit of the force, comprising the most skilled fighter pilots and the most lethal aircraft. The mission was stunning — they had to "light up" Pakistan positions along the Line of Control — the de facto border. 'Light up' is military talk for designating a target on the laser guidance system. They grasped the implication immediately: Indian fighter jets would lock on and hit the Pakistani positions, something the IAF has rarely done during peace time.

It was a sensitive moment in the fraught India-Pakistan ties. Militants had stormed the Indian Parliament just seven months ago, in December 2001, triggering a massive military mobilization and standoff on both sides of the border and along the Line of Control. India called it Operation Parakram.

'Light up' is military talk for designating a target on the laser guidance system. They grasped the implication immediately: Indian fighter jets would lock on and hit the Pakistani post, something the IAF has rarely done during peace time.

BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister and George Fernandes the defence minister. Between May and June 2002, tensions between India and Pakistan were at its heights, following the Kaluchak massacre in May and a failed mediation effort by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

India's defence apparatus suspected a Kargil-like troop build up situation near a border post in the Kel area in the Kupwara sector. Pakistani troops were raining shells on Indian positions from there. There was a need for strong retaliation.

The initial plan was to send in the India Army to attack the Pakistani positions. But the plan was changed after quick consultation with the then Army Chief, General Sundararajan Padmanabhan. Instead of a ground assault, it was decided to soften Pakistani positions using the IAF before the Special Forces went in.

"Typical cold start doctrine in the Air Force terminology was put in practice. The details of this should remain cold. No one should talk about it. What it was intended for was successful," then Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy, told HuffPost India.

This account has been pieced together by speaking with multiple people directly involved with the operation. All of them agreed to speak, following months of persuasion, on the condition of anonymity. The IAF declined to comment, as did Flt Lt Mishra, who is now a retired officer and works as a commercial pilot. Typical for a special operation, this mission carried no name.

"Light It Up"

In the tense summer of 2002, the task of carrying out the strikes fell on the Western Air Command. Fighter aircraft including the French-made Mirage 2000, British-made Jaguar fighters and the Russian MiG-21 were moved to forward bases. While the mission was planned to take off from Srinagar, all forward air bases on the West Border were put on alert to be ready for a potential Pakistan retaliation.

That is when Flt Lt Mishra and two colleagues were tasked with "lighting up" the target. Today this can be done using different and more advanced technology. In 2002, it required someone operating from the line of sight of a target to designate it on the laser guidance system. That was going to be the job of the three-men team led by Flt Lt Mishra.

The Half Hour Wait

On the night of 31, senior officials met for the last time at Srinagar go over the details. New Delhi was informed after all ends were tied up. The team was told to wait. Nearly half hour later, the message came back--it was green.

On first light, the team was air lifted from the Srinagar airport on 1 August. Doors of the single-engine Cheetah helicopter had been removed. They would soon find out why.

As the helicopter neared the LoC, they could hear the blasts from the incessant shelling underway. They flew low, close to the ground. When they neared a BSF post just on the LoC, the three men jumped. Their equipment was dropped from the helicopter, and was grabbed by two BSF soldiers. They immediately had to duck into a foxhole. Shells landed on the post even as the Cheetah swiftly moved away.

The IAF fighters had to climb three mountains before they could get close enough to the targets to designate them. They were operating at an altitude of 16,000 feet, with rarefied air, making breathing difficult.

Missing Camouflage

The Pakistani positions were on an incline and covered with heavy foliage; it was impossible to light up the targets from a distance. They had to go closer. This eventuality had not been accounted for. This meant the IAF men didn't have any camouflage on them. If they walked from the BSF post further, they would be artillery fodder in minutes, because the helicopter movement would have alerted the Pakistani posts.

Time was ticking away — the operations could commence only after the targets had been well identified. They managed to source two camouflage jackets from the BSF post but the three men decided to march on anyway. On the way, they found trees splattered with blood. The night before, the Indian Army had foiled an infiltration bid. The bloodstains on the trees were that of the infiltrating terrorists.

The IAF team had to climb three mountains before they could get close enough to the targets to designate them. They were operating at an altitude of 16,000 feet, with rarefied air, making breathing difficult. Finally after much effort they could close enough to identify and designate the targets on the laser guidance system. Once the job was done, they fell back to a post that was jointly manned by the BSF and the Indian Army.

On the way, they found trees splattered with blood. The night before, the Indian Army had foiled an infiltration bid. The bloodstains on the trees were that of the infiltrating terrorists.

The Gathering Force

As Ft Lt Mishra and his two colleagues waited in a darkened bunker, Indian Army's Special Forces started moving into the post. Pakistani guns were in full flow. The only lantern in the bunker had been covered with black paper and put underneath a cot. Even a flicker of light would attract shells. Nonetheless, a Major of the Artillery Unit was calculating the Pakistani gun positions and relaying it back.

2 August 2002

As Ft Lt Mishra, his colleagues and the Special Forces waited, a bit of bad news came in--fighter jets weren't being able to take-off because of bad weather. As Pakistan continued to pound Indian posts, everyone dug in. The final assault was pushed back twice. Finally, at 1:30 pm on 2 August, the code came through. The fighters had taken off and the assault had begun.

Mirage-2000 fighters dipped over the horizon, locked on the laser beams and bombed the Pakistani bunkers in the Kel area in Kupwara sector. Due to the sensitive nature of the operation, we are withholding the number of aircraft used in operation and the exact location where the strike took place. The Pakistani bunkers were reduced to rubble. The casualties are unknown.

Shocked by the surprise air raid, the Pakistanis were quick to take counter-measures to confuse the second wave of fighter jets. Left with no option, The IAF team would break radio silence and communicate to the incoming fighters. They directed them correctly. Pakistan would open up its heavy artillery guns--this time to target the Army-BSF post on the LoC where they had taken refuge.

Due to the sensitive nature of the operation, we are withholding the number of aircraft used in operation and the exact location where the strike took place. The Pakistani bunkers were reduced to rubble. The casualties are unknown.

Ft Lt Mishra and his team would soon begin their long trek back to safety as the Indian Army's Special Forces moved in to eliminate any remaining Pakistani soldiers. By evening the Pakistani guns had fallen silent.

Pakistan never retaliated to the 2002 air strikes. The Vajpayee-led NDA government at the time was happy to keep the strikes under wraps. That the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army were deployed to destroy Pakistan's military capabilities remained known all these years to just a handful of people in the political and civilian leadership, apart from those involved in the operation.

Flt Lt Mishra retired from the IAF as a Wing Commander.

Because the secret operation was never placed on record, no one involved has received a gallantry medal.


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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 11 Feb 2020 14:31

Jayram wrote:That interview was excellent and explained to me why none of the SU30 MKI pilots got any recognition after the battle. None of the AIM missiles came even close to them for them to be able put into place any evasive measures. In other words a dud a damp squid or what ever else you call it. What were the F16 pilots aiming for? The round ball called earth?


Where on earth did you pick that up from? The article does not mention any of the conclusions you stated.

In fact he says:
Our air defence responded well. We used a lot of tricks but I can’t tell you those.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 11 Feb 2020 14:38

Rakesh wrote:Exactly and also put to rest C Fair’s conspiracy theories!


HNair wrote:Rakesh, she will call ACM some new names and claim he has no perspective, unlike her. She jumped the shark at Chandigarh and we should ignore her live antics from now on, but use her past work to show pakis their place in the universe.


You guys said it. She has gone 100% loony tunes and is nowadays attacking anyone who supports the GOI, using the most vicious language. Including her fellow Americans. Nuts.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby ArjunPandit » 11 Feb 2020 15:09

Great post ankit..highlighting some new points ....or the points that need to be highlighted
Ankit Desai wrote:‘Pakistan’s version a story, a facade,’ says former IAF chief BS Dhanao

Military victory is measured on the scale of whether you have achieved the stated political objective or not. Our objective in Balakot was to hit the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group as a retaliation for February 14 Pulwama suicide attack on a CRPF convoy. It so happened that the JeM camp was inside Pakistan in Manshera and not in Occupied Kashmir. We hit the camp at Jaba top in Balakot.

Let me give you an example, the same thing happened on September 7, 1965, the day IAF’s Mystere aircraft raided Sargodha airbase in hinterland Pakistan and Squadron Leader AB Devayya got a Mahavir Chakra many years later. In that raid, IAF lost a Mystere aircraft that fell on their side, and we did not claim the kill that time. But PAF lost a vastly superior Starfighter. Many years later, Pakistan acknowledged the fact.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, as chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, made it clear that should it escalate, all should be ready for an all-out war. Which service would go in first was decided on the basis of the chosen target. Balakot had to be the air force. If it was a kill-all destroy-all mission, we would have used supersonic low level Brahmos missile, to which Pakistan did not have any answer.

I think the government will hit them again. This time harder, and take out the buildings also so that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby sudhan » 11 Feb 2020 15:49

I thought we struck the same building in Balakot thrice.. The ACM says 3 buildings were struck. Joe sameer's OSINT analysis also pointed out 3 holes on the building.. what am I missing? Can someone kindly clarify? TIA

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rakesh » 11 Feb 2020 20:20

Ankit Desai wrote:‘Pakistan’s version a story, a facade,’ says former IAF chief BS Dhanao

How closely guarded was the information on Balakot attack?
Admiral Sunil Lanba, as chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, made it clear that should it escalate, all should be ready for an all-out war. Which service would go in first was decided on the basis of the chosen target. Balakot had to be the air force. If it was a kill-all destroy-all mission, we would have used supersonic low level Brahmos missile, to which Pakistan did not have any answer.

Just threw the theory that India-would-not-want-to-escalate right out the window.

And using other options (other than aircraft), was clearly available to the Indian military.

From an earlier post of mine (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7266&p=2409402#p2409402)

India's military actions are not limited only to air strikes. There are other options, besides entering an enemy's airspace to take out a high value terrorist camp.

- Why resort to a repeat of an air strike, when BrahMos can also do the job? Balakot is less than 10 kms away from the LoC. What counter does the S-400 (or the HQ-9 clone) have against a Mach 3+ missile from lets say 5 to 10 kms away from the LoC? Assuming the Mach 3+ missile is detected in time....think of the reaction time involved in getting the order to stop the missile which has to move up the chain of command and then come back down the chain of command. BrahMos will have done its job by then.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby manjgu » 11 Feb 2020 20:33

I think u didnt interpret the escalation bit properly... i think what was intended is that IF pakistan did something stupid in response to our strike then we are ready for all.out war like bomb a military target and cause casualties

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rakesh » 11 Feb 2020 21:04

I think you have not read my post in the full context. Please read it.

I am providing the link :) Go here ---> viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7266&p=2409438#p2409438

Kindly scroll down to the escalation bit, read what General Rawat said, see the video on what Admiral Lanba said and what Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa now said confirms what the other two military chiefs said earlier.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby ArjunPandit » 11 Feb 2020 22:03

sudhan wrote:I thought we struck the same building in Balakot thrice.. The ACM says 3 buildings were struck. Joe sameer's OSINT analysis also pointed out 3 holes on the building.. what am I missing? Can someone kindly clarify? TIA

you may be mixing with two other strikes about which not much is known

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nam » 11 Feb 2020 23:42

The reality is: Both on 26 & 27th, IAF was inside Pak airspace. PAF could not intrude in to our airspace, not managed to hit any target firing from the comfort of it's airspace!

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Prem Kumar » 11 Feb 2020 23:51

5 standoff weapons were used. I think the breakup is like this:

3 for the main building
1 each for 2 other buildings

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby sudhan » 12 Feb 2020 00:09

Prem Kumar wrote:5 standoff weapons were used. I think the breakup is like this:

3 for the main building
1 each for 2 other buildings


Thx. I thought the big building was the only one hit. I could be mistaken.

The ACM also mentioned the weapon that was supposed to record the video of the strikes failed. Had that weapon made it things would have been a lot different. Ghafool would have been out of a job along with a lot of other brown pants.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby fanne » 12 Feb 2020 00:39

3 floors in the main building, one spike for each floor

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby dkhare » 12 Feb 2020 00:46

I recall reading it was the Crystal Maze / Popeye that was intended to be launched just after the Spice 2000s. The Popeye is able to transmit a live TV or IIR feed back to the launching aircraft and thus record & relay back what happens seconds before impact. I also recall it was due to the inclement weather and/or perhaps INS differential/mismatch on an unupgraded Mirage 2000 that made them abort launching the Cyrstal Maze.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nam » 12 Feb 2020 00:51

I don't understand our desire to prove to the world, that our strike worked. I mean who cares what the world thinks!

Our objective was to use airpower. If it hit a empty shed, no one gives a toss.The sole point is: Airpower is now the first responder.

It is up to Pak, if it wants to give us another chance.

As ACM said clearly. If it happens again, we will hit again and harder.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rishirishi » 12 Feb 2020 04:53

nam wrote:I don't understand our desire to prove to the world, that our strike worked. I mean who cares what the world thinks!

Our objective was to use airpower. If it hit a empty shed, no one gives a toss.The sole point is: Airpower is now the first responder.

It is up to Pak, if it wants to give us another chance.

As ACM said clearly. If it happens again, we will hit again and harder.


Maybe BRFites are the ones how are proving for them self. The outside world has already drawn their conclusions.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Jayram » 12 Feb 2020 10:55

[quote="Aditya_V"] Yes my bad I read that in a hurry and a little bit wishfull thinking as well

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby srin » 12 Feb 2020 12:01

From ACM Dhanoa's comments, reading between the lines ...
. If it was a kill-all destroy-all mission, we would have used supersonic low level Brahmos missile, to which Pakistan did not have any answer./quote]

I think the government will hit them again. This time harder, and take out the buildings also so that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.

So, it's Brahmos next time :D


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