HomeWar newsBalakot: How did the Indian planes escape from the Pakistani planes?

Balakot: How did the Indian planes escape from the Pakistani planes?

(Four years ago, India claimed to have targeted a camp of a militant organization in Pakistan’s territory, and Pakistani Air Force planes retaliated for the violation of Pakistani borders. Today marks the completion of four years of this incident. is being reprinted.)

After India violated Pakistani airspace on February 26, 2019, the Pakistani military confirmed the incident and said that after the Pakistani planes came into the air, they dropped their bombs in a hurry and went back.

On the other hand, India had claimed that in one of its air strikes, it had targeted a camp of banned militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot area.

In this context, we spoke to Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, a former Pakistan Air Force officer, to answer some basic questions.

What is the prevailing procedure or SOP?

In response to this question, Air Marshal (retired) Masood Akhtar said that during the days of tension, combat air patrolling is done around the clock, that is, fighter jets armed with missiles patrol continuously.

Meanwhile, if any aircraft comes within 50 km of the domestic airspace, the patrolling aircraft are ready to meet it and prevent the foreign aircraft from entering its airspace. In peacetime, if a foreign aircraft comes within 10 km, it is not shot down but forced to return after giving a warning.

What is the reaction time?

Pakistan's JF-17 aircraft
Pakistan’s JF-17 aircraft

If there is tension and the planes are patrolling, it takes no time to retaliate. If the plane is on the ground and the pilot is in the cockpit, the plane will be in the air in the next three minutes.

If the pilot is in an air defense alert hut, it takes five minutes to get to the plane, sit in the cockpit and take off.

In yesterday’s incident, Pakistani aircraft were already doing combat air patrol, so as soon as they were detected and directed by the Pakistani combat controllers, they reached there.Air Marshal Retired Masood Akhtar says that instructions were probably given by both sides not to clash directly. That’s why the Pakistani planes forced them to go back instead of trying to shoot them down, while the Indian planes also didn’t face the Pakistani planes, quickly dropped the payload and left quickly.

Ground and air distance?

The land distance of Jaba from Muzaffarabad is about 38 km
The land distance of Jaba from Muzaffarabad is about 38 km

If the Indian planes dropped bombs near Balakot, it means they came within about 40 km of Pakistani territory. Fighter jets cover a distance of 40 km in four to five minutes. According to experts, the reaction time of the air forces of the developed countries of the world is eight minutes or more.

What is payload?

Anything that is placed under the wings of an aircraft is called payload. For example, missiles, bombs and rockets are all included in the payload. To increase the speed of the plane, the plane has to be lightened so that it can leave a place quickly and the planes coming from behind cannot hit you. In a recent incident, the Indian planes therefore dropped their payload i.e. their ammunition to reduce their weight and take off quickly.

F16 vs Mirage:

Mirage aircraft were used by India in the event of the Indian Air Force dropping bombs in Pakistani territory, while Pakistan had F-16 and JF-17 fighter jets for its defense.

According to Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, the F-16 Block 52 is a better aircraft than the Mirage, while the JF-17 Thunder and some other versions of the F-16 are equal to the Mirage.

Masood Akhtar says that India has upgraded its Mirage aircraft from France, but still F-16 has superiority over Mirage in terms of weapons and radar. He said that modern third generation aircrafts have 9G capability.

Read more about the Balakot attack

“Indian planes stayed in Pakistan for three minutes”

Increasing tension on LoC, ‘Indian firing killed four’

India’s invasion of Pakistan’s borders, assumptions and facts

Claim of attack on Jaish camp, Pakistan’s denial

Indian Mirage 2000 aircraft that were used in this attack
Indian Mirage 2000 aircraft that were used in this attack

NineG means that when the plane cuts a turn, its weight can increase up to nine times. Both the aircraft have 9G capability and BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missiles are also similar.

Rules of Engagement

According to Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, the rules of engagement from both sides in the recent incident were that if you have to kill, kill but the effort will be to avoid clashes so that the war does not escalate.

There was an attempt by Pakistan to intercept and intimidate the Indian aircraft so that they would run away. According to Masood Akhtar, the Indian pilots must also have been told that you should not find the enemy aircraft and fight and get out quickly. All they had to do was show that they had done a surgical strike.

The location in Balakot where the Indian aircraft dropped the payload
The location in Balakot where the Indian aircraft dropped the payload

According to Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, the aim was not to increase the war on either side. He said that when soldiers fight on a land border, it is less likely to trigger a major war, but if a plane is shot down within several miles, the situation could be very bad.

Under normal circumstances, the rules of war are different, and if a foreign aircraft is to be shot down, such debris must fall within 10 kilometers of its own border. Explaining the reason, Masood Akhtar said that this would prove that others had violated the limits. If the wreckage is found in a neighboring country, it means you have trespassed.


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