File photo of Mirage 2000 fighter jet | Manvender Vashist/PTI
File photo of Mirage 2000 fighter jet | Manvender Vashist | PTI
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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force could not fire any of the intended six Israeli air-to-surface missiles called the Crystal Maze from the Mirage 2000 during the Balakot air strikes against Pakistan because its laid down protocols did not allow it in that particular situation.

After an internal investigation into the whole incident, the IAF is now likely to change its firing procedures for use of Crystal Maze so that such difficulties do not arise in future Balakot-style surgical operations.

If the Crystal Maze missiles had been launched along with the SPICE-2000 bombs, they would’ve provided a live video feed of the bombs hitting their targets.

But they could not be launched from the six Mirage 2000 aircraft that had crossed about 15-20 km inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on 26 February due to protocol.

There are different firing procedures depending on the mission and weather conditions and a host of other parametres. The laid down procedures did not allow the firing of Crystal Maze in that particular situation, sources in the defence establishment told ThePrint.

“Hence, missile and bomb firing procedures are being changed, which will enable the pilots to launch them in future Balakot-type operations or otherwise,” a source said.

The non-availability of a clear video of the strike came as a setback as satellite images of the Jaish camp released a day after the strikes appear to show intact structures without any exterior damage.

“No doubt that a video would have helped. But the message sent across to the Pakistani deep state was loud and clear. Even if they deny, they and we know what really happened and the extent of the damage the SPICE-2000 caused that night,” another source in the defence establishment said.

What the SPICE-2000s struck

The first source pointed out two things to support the Indian establishment’s claim that the bombs hit their targets — that the Pakistani military opened up the Balakot camp to journalists and others only after weeks, but not the building which was struck, and the continued closure of Pakistani air space. These “clearly show” that the message was delivered loud and clear, the source added.

There were six structures at the attack site, including a large mosque, but the IAF was tasked with targeting three — a two-storey building that housed most of the cadres, including suicide bombers in training, was the primary target, and was hit by three bombs, multiple sources said.

The three SPICE-2000s that hit this building came with timers — configured on the basis of the structure’s make and the material used — that enabled them to go off only after reaching the ground floor.

The other two buildings hit were a guesthouse and a single-storey building believed to house new recruits.

Satellite images in possession of the government, and seen by ThePrint, show that the SPICE-2000 bombs did drop on at least two targets.

The images show small black holes in the roofs of two of the buildings which appear to be the entry points of the bombs. SPICE-2000s are meant to take out heavily-fortified command and control centres, even if they’re underground.

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15 Comments Share Your Views

15 COMMENTS

  1. Rather a microcosm of the Indian Armed Forces being unable to defend India due to the Neta-Babus and protocols!

  2. Simply love the way we publicly discuss all military secrets through the media in India. Are Editors so circulation hungry that they are willing to sell out their country’s Defence Forces? Highly Irresponsible, and unpatriotic.

  3. Why is it needed to explain to anybody as what Air force did in Terrorists Pakistan? Its shameful that दलाल media and, self styled experts using social media, supported by anti India opposition politicos…. Want a proof? Why debate? Why proof? This is hurting the confidentiality of military operations. What is the civilians r barking? Do Military officers and jawans ask for proof and comment upon what civilian idiots do? Leave the Military matters to Military and The Central Govt headed by The Most able PM, that we r blessed to serve the nation… Those who r barking can sleep coz Military is working round the clock. In any case if nothing happened in Balakot than why Pakistan is so scared and closed the airspace? Coz they expect another round. Imran will be proven correct this time, this year… Just wait…

  4. Seriously , Pakistan should have other priorities than engaging with India . A war costs us nothing but it will ruin even the begging bowl in Pakistan’s hands . I wonder what little they are going to leave their children with unless they stop becoming victims of extremism .

  5. I say ‘ Indian Air Force’ is not made for Modi’s campaign belonging to a party which thrive on Muslim hate. It did it in Gujarat and replicated it in India with a couple of spineless top officers of the indian Army. And its all over . Now keep your mouth shut. Rafale deal is a big ghotala and such paid articles are not going to change that perception.

  6. All claims aside, i fail to understand a few things.
    1. Why it took 43 days to take the reporters at the site if only trees were uprooted? Whether they were taken at the actual site or not is still a different question, but 43 days?
    2. Why close down the airspace for so long if you are confident that india has failed to deliver? Aise hi fat gayi?
    3. And yes, who was using the remaining two parachutes? Or may be pakistani pilots used them as joyride?

    2

  7. Indian military budget is 66 billion US dollars. Pakistani military budget is mere 11 billion US dollars and major part of it is looted by corrupt military top brass. Indian army consists of 1.1 million soldiers. Pakistani army is made up of 0.5 million unprofessional men eager to desert rather than fight a war. Still Pakistani shit heads are dreaming about defeating India in a war

  8. Why and for whom do we need evidence???If IAF is sure what they are hitting and what they have hit that’s quite enough…Let pakistan deny… Even if you show evidence they will call it doctored and deny….Best way to deal this is sensor all news from Pak channels and censor all the stupid dumb indian politicians & don’t let their scrap in public media…..That’s all.

  9. It was a blessing in disguise for the IAF.
    A video link would have helped to clearly count the number of trees which went down. Repeated lies don’t make truth out of something.
    The fact is, IAF was badly beaten up by PAF in the events followed afterward. Friendly fire on an MI-17 is a clear example of competency of IAF.

    • That’s why Imrie, the beggar, is bleating that “we will open airspace only if Balakot will not be repeated”. A. Admits Balakot happened B. Admits it went up the derriere of Pakistan.
      In war, there will be losses. BTW when are you going to announce who was in the other two parachutes that Gen. Asif Gaffoor mentioned?
      I remember Pak Radio announcing that Pakistan army was 20 miles from Delhi when, as a matter of fact, General Niazi was surrendering 93000 pakis.
      It took just 100 Hindus at Longewala to stop THREE THOUSAND Pakis with 45 tanks, 300 APCs and artillery. They ran abandoning all equipment. You are making a huge story of shooting down of a vintage Mig by an F-16 using latest missile. Is it not a piteous claim?
      When has Pakistan won a war? Do you know who shot down your vaunted Sabers and F-104s?
      So people with an inferiority complex will rant about inconsequential things.
      Its OK. Keep it up

      • Lolz.
        These are all stories that you learned or heard while growing up. I can tell you more than these.

        PAF never claimed an F-16 shoot down a Mig-21.
        Another question for the IAF is: if Mig-21 is such an old vintage aircraft, why an air force would use it as front line interceptor. Where were all of your 300 SU-30s and some 40 odd Mirages. The reality is that, due the nature of these platforms, barely 50% of them are operational at a time.

        What Mr. Modi had to admit that if Rafales were acquired on time, the outcome would have been different. What happened so badly with the IAF which required your PM to admit it.

        On our side of border, the fact is: One JF-17 shoot down your Mig – 21 using SD-10 BVR while another JF-17 shoot down your SU-30 using PL-12 BVR.

        Just be sane and think why IAF fast pacing Rafale and Meteors delivery, why they recently signed a contact to buy I-Derby BVRs and why they are asking for another shipment from Russia for R-73 and 77s.

    • Lolzzz are you a fool😁😁😁and what happened VG CDR shahabaz ud-din 😂😂that pak f16 pilot??? Where is he…..its a request to Pakistan don’t lie like this shameless

  10. Spice-2000 is so expensive because it has combined gps/ins and electro optical guidance. The electro optical guidance has man in the loop feature, that is the bomb is guided by the weapons system operator via t.v. linked to the IIR seeker. There should be video of the feed from the targeting pod.

  11. Such matters are COFD ,did not under stand why it is made unclassified to civil. ,so vevidly spoken and printed to all.

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