Mirage 2000 formation
Mirage 2000 aircraft | indianairforce.nic.in
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New Delhi: Five Mirage 2000 aircraft of the Indian Air Force crossed over the Line of Control and went at least 10 km inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, before firing multiple Spice-2000 precision-guided bombs that hit the sprawling Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday morning.

Top defence sources told ThePrint that the five Mirage 2000s were backed up by more fighter aircraft of the same kind, along with a number of Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs, a mid-air refueller and two Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). The strike began at 3:45 am and lasted 21 minutes.

The initial idea was not to cross the LoC but to fire these bombs, each weighing 1,000 kg, from within Indian air space because they have a range of about 100 km.

“However, the wind was very strong from west to east, and hence the five fighters crossed over the LoC,” a top source is the security establishment told ThePrint.

GPS coordinates and an image

The sources said that the Israeli-made bomb was pre-fed with GPS coordinates and an image of the camp, which featured six barracks, each at least two or three storeys high.

The Spice 2000 uses a Digital Seen Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) technology which automatically matches the target, as it zooms in, with the image that has been pre-fed, besides the GPS coordinates.

They added that the precision-guided bomb can be used day or night, and also has anti-GPS jammer, which means that the GPS homing technology cannot be jammed by the enemy.

Also read: These are the 3 locations in Pakistan that were bombed by Indian Air Force

PAF scrambled two fighters

A source said as soon as the five fighters crossed over the LoC, the Pakistan Air Force scrambled two fighters.

“But they beat a hasty retreat as soon as they realised that the Indian formation was large. Within minutes, the IAF fighters had dropped the bombs and returned,” the source said.

Asked why the Mirage 2000 was chosen over India’s frontline fighter aircraft Su-30 MKI, sources said only the Mirage is capable of using this particular bomb right now.

Why was Balakot camp targeted?

The Balakot camp was the largest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, where its chief Masood Azhar’s son Abdullah was also trained.

Top sources in the defence establishment said the camp was about 65 km from the LoC and was housing roughly about 200-300 terrorists at the time of the strike.

The camp was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar, also known as Ustad Ghouri, the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar.

Sources said that following the Pulwama attack, terrorists were made to leave from the launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and were brought to the Balakot camp.

Another terrorist trained at the camp was Afghan war veteran Abdul Rashid Ghazi, an IED expert who had entered Kashmir in December 2018. He had also been a trainer at this camp.

Also read: Madrassas to military training — how Balakot emerged as largest breeding ground for JeM

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11 Comments Share Your Views


  1. I am a Pakistani and wished to thank IAF for providing such a wonderful SPICE 2000 Israeli technology …a v costly kit which can convert, an unguided 2000 Lb bomb into pinpoint accurate guided bomb.
    We have two totally intact kits…..

    Thanks again…and regards

  2. Excellent journalism. Next time perhaps let’s act like adults though…the fighter jets crossed the LoC because the wind was strong??? Jets hein yaa duppatay ka pulluu jo hawa say urh gaey?

    Perhaps The Print is like The Onion and I totally lost the sarcasm. My bad, in that case.

    • They crossed the LOC because with strong winds, the bombs could have been blown off course and they did not want to take a chance. Did you really think that the planes were blown off towards Pak territory due to strong winds?

  3. This article sheds light on lot of details about location but leaves a lot to be desired. What went wrong with two jets (according to pakistan news outlet) if pakistan didn’t respond timely?

  4. शून्य क्रांति का समय निकट आ रहा है।
    शून्य + शून्यता + शून्यक्रांति = निरपेक्ष क्रांति।
    ॥ॐ सभी कुछ ब्रह्म है + शून्यक्रांति + निरपेक्ष क्रांति।

  5. Battle is won.. war with such enemy is endless. Let’s calm things down from our end. Pak will try to respond but has limited options. There are no such camps in India to strike back. Attacking Indian Army/Air Force will be declaration of war.

  6. I am proud of (IAF) Indian Air Force. They have done very well and it was well plan. Good luck force for upcoming fight with Pakistan and we are also ready for it. Go ahead 👉

  7. The fact that the IAF did not wish to cross the LoC even for an operation of this nature shows that India is respecting the rules of the game. 2. PM Imran Khan has spoken to Prince MbS and the Crown Prince of UAE. Hopefully, both would have urged caution and restraint. Dil mein toh sab jaante hain what Pakistan has been upto. 3. Serious diplomacy is required now to put a lid on things. India has achieved its objective today. Nothing further to prove or gain by allowing a spiral to develop.


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