Strategic surprise at Balakot: 6,000 officers involved and not a single leak

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Apr 35: The Indian Air Force (IAF) had done a detailed assessment of both positives and negatives of the Balakot air strike. The report deals with various aspects of the strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp at Balakot, despite Pakistan being on very high alert.

One of the key aspects listed in the report is about the strategic surprise. It says that the strategic surprise was so complete that Pakistan scrambled its jets only after the Mirage-2000s delivered the weapons package and turned back.

Also Read | No Pak soldier or citizen died in Balakot air strike: Sushma Swaraj

Another major positive was the accuracy of the intelligence and the target selection. The proficiency and the skill of the pilots' part of the mission has been listed as top class and they would be rewarded for the same.

The high level of secrecy maintained during the mission also finds a mention. 6,000 men and officers were involved in the operation and there was absolutely no leakage. Speaking more about the element of surprise, the IAF said that the Russian Su-30s flying towards the JeM's headquarters at Bahawalpur forced Pakistan to divert its resources and other capabilities in a separate sector.

During the strike, the IAF used Spice 200 precision guided munitions to hit the target. Five of the six designated targets were hit at the Jaish-e-Mohammad training facility in Balakot.

Also Read | Pakistani military takes international media, foreign diplomats on tour of Balakot seminary

Among the negatives, the IAF says that cloud cover caused problems for the fighter fleet. Moreover the entire weapons package barring the Spice 2000 was not delivered. The changes in the software made to integrate new weapon systems with the Mirage aircraft did not work completely, the report also added.

The report further recommended more technical asymmetry for the IAF in order to penetrate the enemy air space at will.

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