The Indian Air Force carried out a long-range precision strike operation against a practice target at Pokhran in Rajasthan to mark the second anniversary of the Balakot Operation on Saturday, February 27.
The same Mirage 2000 fighter jet squadron that carried out the Balakot strikes was in charge of this mission.
To avenge the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed, the Indian Air Force had hit a Jaish-e-Mohammad training centre in Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26, 2019.
The IAF took down the training facility that had been mapped by intelligence years earlier.
Amar Bhushan, a former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, told Oneindia that although the facility had been mapped years ago, it took good leadership and guts to strike it.
On February 26, 2019, at 3:45 am, the then Air Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa called National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on a special RAX number to inform him that the IAF had successfully conducted the task. The National Security Agency (NSA) promptly notified the Prime Minister of the situation.
According to officials, the operation was a highly guarded secret known only to a few. The officer also explained the operation's sensitivity. It was code-named Operation Bandar.
The IAF performed a rigorous assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the Balakot air attack. The strategic surprise was one of the most critical elements. Pakistan only scrambled its jets after the Mirage-2000s delivered the weapons package and returned to base.
Another great advantage was the intelligence's clarity and target selection. The pilots' proficiency and abilities were listed as first-class, and they would be honoured for that.
During the mission, a high degree of secrecy was maintained as 6,000 men and officers participated in the operation, and there was no leakage.
More precisely, the IAF claimed that Russian Su-30s flying towards the JeM's Bahawalpur headquarters forced Pakistan to redirect its resources and other capabilities to a different sector.
The IAF used Spice 200 precision-guided munitions to hit the target during the strike. At the Jaish-e-Mohammad training facility in Balakot, five of the six designated targets were struck.