Earlier in the day, the Indian Air Force conducted a ‘non-military pre-emptive strikes’ against the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp in Balakot to counter multiple potential fidayeen attacks.
The operation conducted by the Indian Air Force was based on credible intelligence that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and Fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. Reportedly, nearly 250 terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad, trainers, senior commander and Jihadis have been eliminated.
The Indian Air Force had employed its best aircraft and equipment to successfully carry out these deep air strikes at Balakot terror camps in Pakistan. Reports from Shiv Aroor, a defence expert suggests that India had employed seven equipment to pound 1000 kilograms of bombs in a 21-minute operation inside the Pakistan territory.
- Dassault Mirage-2000: The Indian Air Force had chosen its best and battle-tested twelve French Mirage-2000 aircraft based out of Gwalior Air Force base of Central Air Command. Mirage-2000, a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation, is the predecessor to the Dassault Rafale. Mirage-2000 was acquired by the Indian Air Force in 1982 and had performed exceptionally well during the whole conflict in the high Himalayas.
- DRDO NETRA Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS): An airborne early warning and control system or ‘Eye in the Sky‘ of the Indian Air Force, operated on Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft platform. The DRDO AEWACS aircraft provided the command and control to the Mirage-2000 aircraft. The Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars mounted on the aircraft provided Mirage-2000 with the primary target information. The NETRA AEW&C aircraft is based out of Bathinda Air Force base of Western Command.
- Ilyushin Il-78: An aerial refuelling tanker of the Indian Air Force stationed at Agra Air Force Station of Central Air Command. It was deployed for refuelling of Mirage-2000 for long endurance missions.
- IAI Heron: It is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aerospace Industries. The IAF had deployed it in the operation to conduct real-time aerial surveillance along the Line of Control.
- GBU-12 Paveway Laser Guided Bombs: Guided Bomb Units is an American aerial precision laser-guided bomb mounted on Dassault Mirage-2000 to target the terror camps with high precision. The Mirage jets were armed 500/1000lb laser-guided bombs.
- Lighting Pods: The Mirage-2000 jets were fitted with Israeli lightening targetting pods. The pods assist in acquiring the target and guiding the laser-guided bombs to target precise locations.
- MATRA Magic Close Combat Missile: MATRA is a French medium to short-range air-to-air missile deployed at the Mirage-2000, to be used if they encounter Pakistani jets during the airstrikes. The air-to-air missiles would have given the Indian Air Force pilots an option to engage with the Pakistani Air Force if at all they had responded to airstrikes.
In an operation in the early hours of the day at 3.30 a.m, the IAF jets had pounded terror camps Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti in the well-planned strike involving a fleet of IAF jets and other military jets. Nearly 200-300 casualties on the side of Pakistan have been reported.