At about 0115 hours on February 26, 2019, 20 fully armed Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft took off, one by one in quick succession, from the runway and taxiway of the Air Force Station at Gwalior. They flew towards Bareilly and tanked up mid-air, then headed towards Jammu and Kashmir. At about 0345 hours, the fighters, which were flying in the cover of mountains to escape a Pakistani SAAB Airborne Warning and Control aircraft, crossed the LoC at 30,000 feet.

While 16 aircraft crossed into PoK — including four for escort duties — four others stayed behind as back-up. Five Israeli-made Spice 2000 bombs were released about 15 km into PoK, which struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot, and the fighters made their way back to an airfield in the Western Sector. Continue reading


All future operations on the lines of last year’s Balakot air strikes will have a video feed of the attack for military personnel to get real-time information, which will also help with subsequent analysis of the hit, ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources in the defence establishment, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has rewritten firing protocols for the air-to-surface Israeli missile, Crystal Maze, as it was felt that the missile could have been fired along with the Spice 2000 during the Balakot strike but the rules at the time didn’t allow for it. Continue reading


On the first anniversary of the Balakot air strike on camps of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), former chief of the Indian Air Force Air Marshal BS Dhanoa on Wednesday described it as a “paradigm shift” in Indian military operations. “Basically, it’s a paradigm shift in the way we conduct our operations. The other side never believed that we could carry out a strike inside Pakistan to take out a terror training camp that we successfully carried out,” he told ANI.

“One year has gone past and we look back with satisfaction. We have learnt a lot of lessons, a lot of things have been implemented after Balakot operations.” Continue reading


The Defence PRO, Shillong took a jibe at Pakistan Defence for posting a tweet last year when Balakot airstrike took place.

On February 26 last year, a handle going by the name of Pakistan Defence shared a photograph of a Pakistani fighter jet with a caption: “Sleep tight because PAF is awake #PakistanZindabad.”Exactly a year ago, the Indian Air Force had carried out an air-strike at a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. Continue reading


To mark the first anniversary of the Balakot airstrikes, Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday (February 26) flew the MiG-21 aircraft of the 51 Squadron from Srinagar airbase.

He will be flying in the same formation as when Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’ took sortie in 2019 and downed a Pakistani F-16 aircraft during aerial combat. The IAF chief himself flew a MiG-21 Bison aircraft with Commanding Officer Group Captain Nazeer and two Mirage-2000 and two Sukhoi-30MKI jets. Continue reading


Former Air chief BS Dhanoa said that there was no Pakistani aircraft within 150 km of IAF’s strike package that bombed the terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 last year. He further said that Pakistan had no knowledge about the Indian air-strike. Exactly a year ago India carried out air-strike at a terror camp in Balakot.

“The technical information that was put out in front of government confirmed that our strike has been successful,” Dhanoa said in an exclusive interview to ANI.”As far as Pakistan is concerned, they need to answer some basic questions. Why will the Indian Aircraft run away? We were firing standoff weapons. Why will we go and hit a forest? They had no knowledge about the targets. They had no knowledge about the kind of weapons that we used, the kind of warheads we used, the fuse setting of that warheads. How much it will penetrate before exploding. They had no knowledge,” said the former Air chief. Continue reading


The Indian army’s top commander in Kashmir Wednesday said that security forces have eliminated most terrorists in the valley.“Overall security situation in the valley is very good, most of the terrorists leadership has been targeted and eliminated. Today there is hardly any leadership of terrorists which is able to operate in the valley,” Chinar Corps Commander, Lt General KJS Dhillon said, according to ANI.

Last week, Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh had said that over 20 terrorist have been killed in the union territory since the new year. Referring to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), General Dhillon said those were attempts by Pakistan to facilitate infiltration of terrorists. Continue reading


In a strong message, India and the US on Tuesday asked Pakistan to ensure that no territory under its control is used to launch terror attacks and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms. A joint statement covering various key aspects of talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump said the two leaders called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.

The two leaders also called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, D-Company, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. “Prime Minister Modi and President Trump denounced any use of terrorist proxies and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms,” the joint statement said. Continue reading


The violence over the amended citizenship act in India’s capital New Delhi drew sharp reactions from US lawmakers with the mainstream media prominently reporting it along with the just-concluded visit of President Donald Trump. Reacting to the violence that has claimed at least 13 lives in the past a couple of days, US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said the “deadly surge of religious intolerance in India is horrifying”.

“Democracies should not tolerate division and discrimination or promote laws that undermine religious freedom,” she said in a tweet, adding that the “world is watching”. The Indian Parliament had passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last year, resulting in a series of protests across the country. Continue reading


President Donald Trump on his second-day visit to India, said that the US and India held discussions on 5G technology and its importance during bilateral talks between both the countries. Stressing on the importance of secure 5G wireless network, Trump said, “The need for this emerging technology to be a tool for freedom, progress, prosperity, and not to do anything with where it could be even conceived as a conduit for suppression and censorship.”

According to an estimate, in the coming 10 years, India will become the second-largest market in the world in terms of 5G technology and no country including the US wants to let this opportunity go by hand. 5G technology will play an important role in uplifting the economy of the country in the near future and the countries who fail to upgrade the technology will lag behind in the global market. Continue reading


India and the US pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation by collaborating on the co-development and production of advanced military systems besides pushing ahead with a comprehensive global strategic partnership anchored in mutual trust and shared interests.

A joint vision statement after bilateral meetings between PM Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump spelt out the way ahead to scale up relations in trade, security, technology sharing, regional stability and tackling new challenges such as the Covid-19 outbreak.The two nations focused on taking forward the strategic partnership with closer cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and increased defence ties, beyond a buyer-seller relationship. Continue reading


India’s approach in dealing with terrorism has undergone a major change as its armed forces now do not hesitate to cross the border to protect the country against the menace, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on the first anniversary of the Balakot air strike.A fleet of Indian Air Force aircraft had bombed a terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26 last year to avenge the killing of 40 central reserve police force (CRPF) personnel in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.

“I thank the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for bringing change in India’s approach against terrorism and our ways to counter terror.”The Surgical Strikes of 2016 and Balakote Air Strikes of 2019 are testimony to this change. This is certainly a New and Confident India in making,” Singh said in a series of tweets. Continue reading


An Intelligence Bureau officer was killed by a stone-pelting mob in Delhi’s Chandbagh area last night and his body was dumped in a drain, claimed his uncle. The officer killed was 26 years old. The officer was identified as one Ankit Sharma and worked as security assistant in the IB. The violence in north-east Delhi over the amended citizenship law has claimed 20 lives so far.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal called the situation in Delhi “alarming”, and urged the Centre to call in the army to stem the protests. The CM said he will be writing a letter to the Centre for the same.The Congress, led by its president Sonia Gandhi, launched a blistering attack on the Centre and the Delhi government for the violence in the city. The party demanded immediate resignation of Union home minister Amit Shah for “colossal failure” to restore normalcy. Continue reading


Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, will on Wednesday visit a front-line base in Kashmir that launched fighter planes last February to engage Pakistan Air Force aircraft a day after Indian Mirage-2000s struck targets in Pakistan’s Balakot, commemorating the first anniversary of IAF’s unprecedented, peacetime cross-border strikes, two senior officials said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Bhadauria will visit the air force’s Srinagar-based No 51 squadron, which is also known as “Sword Arms”, and interact with personnel who were involved in the February 27, 2019, air action against the neighbouring air force over the Line of Control (LoC), said one of the officials cited above. Continue reading


As India and the U.S. look to announce defence deals worth around $3 billion during President Donald Trump’s visit beginning on Monday, the proposal to procure armed drones from the U.S. for the three services is very much under way and the qualitative requirements (QR) are currently being finalised, defence sources said.

“The proposal for 10 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones for each Service is on. The qualitative requirements (QR) are currently being finalised,” a defence source told The Hindu. “The pricing and availability (P&A) data has been obtained from the U.S. and joint QRs are being formulated, while the payloads will be different for each service,” the source added. Continue reading