Balakot Air Strikes by IAF on JeM Terror Camps Lasted ‘90 Seconds’, Pilots Say Families Had No Clue About Operation
A image of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and IAF's Mirage 2000 fighter jets. (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, June 25: The airstrikes by India Air Force (IAF) on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camp in Pakistan's Balakot in February this year, were completed in a span of just 90 seconds, pilots part of the operation informed. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the two pilots informed that the air mission was so confidential that even close family members of the officials had no clue about the strikes on Pakistani terror camps. Terrorists in Pakistan Frightened After Balakot Air Strikes, Says Narendra Modi.

One of the pilots was quoted in the report as saying that the entire operation took place in 90 seconds, adding that the IAF turned back after releasing the weapon on the base camps in Pakistan. “It was over in 90 seconds; we released the weapon and we turned back. No one, not even my close family knew,” the IAF pilot said, asking not to be named”, one of the Mirage 2000 fighter pilots said. “Next day, when news broke, my wife asked me whether I was part of the attack. I kept quiet and slept off,” he was quoted in the HT report. Balakot Air Strike in Pakistan Has Changed the Political Narrative in Uttar Pradesh Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

Another pilot, requesting anonymity, said the senior IAF officials did not change their daily routines to avoid letting anyone get a hint of the strikes. “We deliberately took a long route, flying over the eastern part of the country and when we arrived in Kashmir, we went into radio silence,” the first pilot said.

On February 26, 12 Mirages took off from multiple air bases crossed over into the Pakistani air space to attack the JeM terrorist camp in Balakot town of Khyber Pakhtunwa province. The IAF code-named it 'Operation Bandar (Monkey)' to maintain secrecy. The attacks were carried out at 3.30 AM and within a few minutes after dropping the bombs on their designated targets, the Indian Air Force planes returned to their bases. Abhinandan Returns From Pakistan Via Attari Wagah Border; India Celebrates; See Pic & Video.

According to a report by ANI, the aircraft used in the attack belonged to the No 7 and No 9 squadrons of the Indian Air Force and included the non-upgraded planes as the upgraded Mirages of the No 1 squadron did not have the air to ground strike capability at that moment.

According to the Air Force briefings to the government, 80 percent of the bombs were dropped successfully on their targets, which carried out the requisite damage to the enemy locations. The operations were ably supported by the indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control systems (AEW&C) plane Netra.