PM Modi
Screen grab of PM Modi's interview on News Nation | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Not only has Prime Minister Narendra Modi set Twitter and other social media platform on fire with his “cloud theory” remarks on the Balakot air strikes, he has also given out critical details of the moments and tactics prior to the daring air raid of 26 February, even contradicting what top government officers had claimed earlier.

In an interview to news channel News Nation, aired Saturday, Modi said that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar. The PM’s remarks gained prominence after the BJP’s official Twitter first put them out before deleting the tweet.

The tweet that BJP’s official Twitter handle deleted | Screenshot from Twitter

While Twitter has had a field day over the statements, as radar can pick up signals even in adverse weather, the interview also had the Prime Minister revealing that there had been a discussion on the air strikes and that experts may have wanted to delay it.

A meme tweeted by an unverified account on PM Modi’s statements | Twitter

Modi also said that an F-16 fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force was indeed shot down, killing two pilots in it.


Also read: India hoped for an Abe. It got a lost decade under Modi


PM admits experts wanted date changed

While the focus has been on the ‘cloud theory’, the prime minister did reveal that prior to the air strike, the government held a review of the operation at 9 pm on 25 February.

The problem of the cloud cover, Modi added, emerged at the next review meeting at 12 am. “We had a problem in front of us, the weather had suddenly gone bad,” the PM said. “There was lot of rain if you remember… I am saying this for the first time. I am not sure what our officers will feel.”

The PM admitted that there had been doubts of whether the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots would be able to fly in such weather.

“By and large, the opinion of experts was ‘sahab, date badal de the kya (Shall we change the date, sir)’,” the PM said. “Two things came to my mind — one was secrecy. It was secret till then but if anything leaks out, we will not be able to do it… Secondly, I am not a person who understands all these tech and science. But I said there is benefit also because of all this cloud and rain. We could escape the radar.”

“I said my raw wisdom is that this cloud can benefit us as well. We were all in a fix. Then ultimately I said, cloud hai, jayi,” he added.

The PM’s comments, however, showed that “experts” wanted to delay the operation but it still went ahead. It is not clear whether any of the experts, including top IAF officials, explained that radars can pick up signals even if there is heavy cloud cover.

Top IAF officials that ThePrint had spoken to in the immediate aftermath of the Balakot strike had taken pride in the fact that secrecy was maintained even though multiple air bases were involved and in all together about 5,000 airmen were aware that something major was on.

So the fear that any delay would actually lead to a leak is something that the IAF had feared too.


Also read: BJP member starts petition to ‘protest’ Time report calling Modi ‘India’s divider in chief’


PM reveals naval exercise

The main new detail to emerge from the Prime Minister’s interview, however, is the revelation that the Indian Navy had played a part in the run-up to the air strike. Modi has gone on record to state that Indian naval ships carried out multiple movements before the strike to make Pakistan believe that the plan was to attack Karachi. It is vital information that top government officials have been taking pains to deny.

Pakistan had then taken a number of defensive steps including putting its entire fleet out on operational deployment against India.

It was around this time that a top Indian government official had met with select reporters and accused Pakistan of indulging in war mongering and trying to tell that the world that a war was imminent. The top official had also denied that any ships were deployed against Pakistan. He had in fact said that the movement was not facing Pakistan side.

Navy sources had also denied that there was any deployment against Pakistan. Only, following the air raid by Pakistan on 27 February, did the Navy come on record but even then, it said that it had only put its assets on high alert.

In his interview Saturday, however, Modi said that Indian naval ships were indeed deployed before the Balakot strikes. “We did a lot of movement in the sea… all our naval warships. Pakistan… there was blackout in Karachi for many days,” the Prime Minister said. “They had thought attack would be in Karachi… they were confused because all these movements were taking place.”

The Prime Minister also said that the Indian side had intentionally created an illusion that Bhawalpur, where the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has its headquarters, was the target.

“For 3-4 days, there was another place which Pakistan kept talking about (JeM camp in Bhawalpur). They even took people there to show this is so peaceful, students study here,” Modi said. “We used to keep saying all gadbad happens through here. One set of our aircraft went there. Pakistan had thought, they are coming for this place. They never realised we are going somewhere else.”

Another new detail that emerged was the time of the attack. While IAF sources had briefed the media that the operation began at 3.30 am, Modi said it actually commenced at 2.55 am.

“We started our movement at 1.30 am. Our time was 2.55 am. That was the best time,” Modi said. “We had to keep in mind the satellite moment so that we don’t get caught in that. At 3.20 am, I received the report that all went well.”

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19 Comments Share Your Views

19 COMMENTS

  1. My simple suggestions is that you should do some real Home work before criticising someone . Being a Communication engineer , I know for sure that wheather conditions can adversely affect the Radar’s performance specially when trying to scan sky for Fighter planes on stealth mode . Many readers have already gone into the technical issues . So , next time rather than acting like a camp follower of a particular ideology , try to be unbiased alteast for the sake of your credibility.

    • Good to know that you are professional engineer and spent some time in acquiring the necessary knowledge? Are you suggesting our PM has been studying for a part time degree in Communication Engineering the last 5 years, maybe while flying for all this foreign trips? But we also know he managed to get masters in economics and statistics and also space sciences during the same time.

  2. The article is misleading to the extent that it suffers from lack of important details and wrong emphasis.
    Pl refer to the interview of PM Modi (1hr 14 minutes dt 11.5.19) on ‘News Nation’ TV channel ,Link – https://youtu.be/FSzVmCXlPPI ) as available on you tube .The two criticisms- about PM Modi ‘s ‘ignorance of radar effectivity in cloudy weather ‘ and ‘claim of non existent technology of transmission of a digital image through email attachment in late eighties ‘ are being ‘dealt’ with in that interview between 25 th minute to 32 minute (approx) of the interview.
    The PM did refer to ‘Radar’ issue twice but it was in a general casual way as he has emphasized more on the loss of ‘ secrecy ‘ due to extended time ,and huge benefits of bad cloudy and rainy weather for an air strike in that environment.
    Although ,he did not explain there but such cloudy and rainy weather must have made the Pakistani ,for that matter any,military brass very complacent given the infeasibility of such air strike from military point of view.
    Only a calm neutral mind uncluttered by any kind of vested interest,whatsoever-personal.or political , like our PM Modi with resulting pure sixth sense could have taken such risky but extraordinarily successful decision in such a confusing situation against the advice of almost everyone.
    .That is the difference between a pure ,honest military oriented minds at the top, with a, natural fear of personal failure at the least . and a ‘pure’,honest ,fearless and genuinely political mind at the top with only Nation’s interest in heart and ,nothing else.
    Just as an aside,I googled the following and got it as follows;”Does weather affect radar?
    Atmospheric effects. As was mentioned, rain and other forms of precipitation can cause echo signals that mask the desired target echoes. There are other atmospheric phenomena that can affect radar performance as well. … This results in the formation of what are called radar holes in the coverage”.
    Draw your own conclusion।
    We must salute both of them and ignore a ‘radar’ slip for PM and extreme caution on the part of others including military brass .

    As for ‘e mail ‘ technology being not available in late eighties ,he has never used the word ‘e mail’ but used the word ‘ transmission’ for the digital pictures .It might be interesting to know how he got it transmitted so quickly then.
    News Nation TV should enquire into this matter and I will.be obliged if they could ’email’ me the matter in this regard .
    No doubt,Nation is very safe in strong hands of Modi guided by a fearless inquisitive mind and a compassionate heart .
    Kudos to News Nation TV for bringing him out so well .
    .Amen!

  3. Indeed, the country is blessed to have got a sheer “genius” as a PM.He ofcourse knows radars better than other IAF experts, economy better than Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Statistics better than PC Mohanan who even quit the premier statistics organization since his highness decided to take key decisions, Satellites better than Dr Misra whom ISRO removed from his post as head of center.

    There are so many other examples of so called reputed professionals failing to prove their mettle when faced with our Aam Genius, who also has world records of first fakir in the world to own digital camera and also the first emailer in India. We are blessed! Maximum governance minimum government. His highness runs everything personally everywhere!

  4. Modi is right. K and X band radars are severely affected by water droplets. S band can do better with some skiled use.

  5. Idiot Print readers… I’m awed to see your foolish attitude and ignorance in communication technologies. For your education here are some knowledge enhancement:

    Atmospheric effects

    As was mentioned, rain and other forms of precipitation can cause echo signals that mask the desired target echoes. There are other atmospheric phenomena that can affect radar performance as well. The decrease in density of the Earth’s atmosphere with increasing altitude causes radar waves to bend as they propagate through the atmosphere. This usually increases the detection range at low angles to a slight extent. The atmosphere can form “ducts” that trap and guide radar energy around the curvature of the Earth and allow detection at ranges beyond the normal horizon. Ducting over water is more likely to occur in tropical climates than in colder regions. Ducts can sometimes extend the range of an airborne radar, but on other occasions they may cause the radar energy to be diverted and not illuminate regions below the ducts. This results in the formation of what are called radar holes in the coverage. Since it is not predictable or reliable, ducting can in some instances be more of a nuisance than a help.

    Loss of radar energy due to atmospheric absorption, when propagation is through the clear atmosphere or rain, is usually small for most systems operating at microwave frequencies.

  6. Air Force officers who were with Modi at the time should clarify why they didn’t contradict the PM. If they did, and still Modi continued to believe in his story, Divider in Chief is actually Duffer in Chief.

  7. Do clouds impede radar? This what I found on a Quora discussion.
    It really depends on the radars frequency. Weather radars use a frequency that reflects off water vapour, so you can detect clouds. That also results in some radar degradation after passing through those detected clouds. Non-weather radars, mainly military or air traffic control use frequencies that are not affected by clouds. They are looking for solids in the air, ie: aluminum. Different materials affect and reflect radar in differing ways depending on the frequency used. Ground radar may use multiple frequencies to detect the different materials, ie: rock, trucks, trees, etc.

    • Chokidar mahachor Narendra Modi can do any thing nothing is imposible for him even can sale the ship in sands.Look how he him self navigated the fighters to balakot.Jai Chokidar Maha thug hai Narendra modi.

  8. As the old saying goes, loose lips sink ships, and a big mouth like feku will cost india some day more than the failed balakot operation about which it is quite certain that the “precision bombs” were misprogrammed due to not knowing the height of the terrain, as the australian R & D has revealed.
    We will find out how much feku will cost india the next time – next time india may well lose big time to pakistan , thanks to modi’s foolishness if he is re-elected.

  9. Now everyone has become a radar expert. How many patents do Indians have on radar technology..its ZERO. Don’t jump the gun on PM Modi’s raw wisdom. Weather condition do affect radar..one phenomenon is called ducting..which may greatly affect radar performance. Further, water droplets and dust particles can diffuse radar energy via absorption, reflection and scattering. This may result in less return echo. Overall effect may be reduction in usuable range. The higher the frequency of the radar system such as the S-band in 2 to 4 Ghz range, more it is affected by weather conditions such as rain or clouds.
    So, PM Modi’s raw wisdom has some scientific validity.

    • Hey, ever heard of certain controls like “rain clutter” , “tuning” , gain, noise suppression, long/ medium/ short beams? They are used to suppression rain clouds and enhance target echos. Don’t spread your wikipedia or quora knowledge in front of an expert😉.

  10. If our politicians stoop to the level of our illiterate masses, there is no escape for us. Nehru and our founding figures, rather, guided the people rather than stooping to their ignorance. Modi is popular because he does not guide people but stoops to their level. His popularity will always grow because of this until our nation is fully impoverished and sapped of all its greatness.

    • Now everyone has become a radar expert. How many patents do Indians have on radar technology..its ZERO. Don’t jump the gun on PM Modi’s raw wisdom. Weather condition do affect radar..one phenomenon is called ducting..which may greatly affect radar performance. Further, water droplets and dust particles can diffuse radar energy via absorption, reflection and scattering. This may result in less return echo. Overall effect may be reduction in usuable range. The higher the frequency of the radar system such as the S-band in 2 to 4 Ghz range, more it is affected by weather conditions such as rain or clouds.
      So, PM Modi’s raw wisdom has some scientific validity.

  11. Really no words to speak… His IQ weighs 1/10th of his cunningness… just masterd how to fool. Indian voters are emotional foolls like two years old child can be tamed with a boogie story.

    • Now everyone has become a radar expert. How many patents do Indians have on radar technology..its ZERO. Don’t jump the gun on PM Modi’s raw wisdom. Weather condition do affect radar..one phenomenon is called ducting..which may greatly affect radar performance. Further, water droplets and dust particles can diffuse radar energy via absorption, reflection and scattering. This may result in less return echo. Overall effect may be reduction in usuable range. The higher the frequency of the radar system such as the S-band in 2 to 4 Ghz range, more it is affected by weather conditions such as rain or clouds.
      So, PM Modi’s raw wisdom has some scientific validity.

  12. National security has got intertwined with domestic politics, without enriching either. The two will have to be patiently unwound.

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