New Delhi: As social media users in both India and Pakistan reacted over the second anniversary of the 2019 Balakot strike, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S Bhadauria Saturday flew solo in a Mirage 2000 aircraft, while the force demonstrated the precision capabilities of the Spice 2000 bomb.
The IAF chief, who just came back from a visit to Bangladesh, visited the Gwalior air base and interacted with the fighter pilots earlier in the day, defence sources said.
He then flew solo on a Mirage 2000 as part of a multi-aircraft sortie with the units to commemorate the Balakot strike along with the Squadron pilots, sources added.
The Mirage aircraft were the ones which carried out the bombing of Jaish-e-Mohammad camps in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Balakot.
The strike was the first ever air operation done by India in Pakistan beyond the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK).
While satellite imagery later revealed that the Israeli Spice 2000 bombs did hit the designated targets, Pakistan went on a propaganda war from the beginning itself claiming that the operation, codenamed Bandar by India, had failed.
Long-range precision strike
The Mirage aircraft also “in the very recent past” fired a Spice 2000, video of which was tweeted out by the IAF Saturday, showing a marked target getting hit by the bomb.
The IAF used the hashtag #NowhereToHide.
To mark the 2nd anniversary of #BalakotOperations, the participating Squadrons carried out a long range precision strike exercise against a practice target. 1/2#NowhereToHide pic.twitter.com/LQTvPv7wQf
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 27, 2021
It was a long-range precision strike against a practice target to mark the second anniversary of the Balakot operation.
The strike was carried out by members of the same squadron, which had carried out the actual operation.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised the IAF saying the success of Balakot strikes has shown India’s strong will to act against terrorism.
On the anniversary of Balakot Air Strikes, I salute the exceptional courage and diligence of the Indian Air Force.
The success of Balakot strikes has shown India’s strong will to act against terrorism. We are proud of our Armed Forces who keep India safe and secure. @IAF_MCC
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) February 26, 2021