Action initiated to tackle drone incursions 'threat': IAF Chief
New Delhi, Oct 04: Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday showcased the story of the Balakot aerial strikes in a promotional video at the annual Air Force Day press conference by Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
It is Bhadauria's first press meet after he assumed office on 30 September 2019 after superannuation of Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa.
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said, "On 27th February in the aerial battle after attack by Pakistan, Indian Air Force lost one MiG-21 and Pakistan lost one F-16."
Bhadauria also added, "Air Force has achieved many important milestones in the last year including 26th February when we successfully targeted terror camps in Balakot."
#WATCH Indian Air Force showcases the story of the Balakot aerial strikes in a promotional video at the annual Air Force Day press conference by Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. pic.twitter.com/GBRWwWe6sJ— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2019
On whether there is a possibility of another Balakot type strike the Air Chief Marshal said, "If there is a terror strike (from Pakistan), it will be responded as per the government decision on it."
Steps have been taken to ensure safe radio communication so that Pakistan won't be able to jam India's communication with pilots as they did in the case of Wing Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman. They won't be able to hear the communication, Bhadauria confirmed.
The Balakot airstrike was conducted by Indian Air Force in the early hours of February 26 when Indian warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.
He also said that small drones are a new threat and some procurements are already in process to tackle the issue. It is a space violation issue and necessary action has been initiated in this aspect.
Pakistan's military, the first to announce the airstrike on February 26 morning, described the Indian planes as dropping their payload in an uninhabited wooded hilltop area near Balakot.
India, confirmed the airstrike and characterized it to be a preemptive strike directed against a terrorist training camp, and causing the deaths of a "large number" of terrorists.
The following day, February 27, in a tit-for-tat airstrike, Pakistan retaliated causing an Indian warplane to be shot down and Pakistan military captivated Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and returned on March 1.
The airstrikes were the first time since the India-Pakistan war of 1971 that warplanes of either country crossed the Line of Control and also since both states have become nuclear powers.