IAF vs PAF AGAIN
In the early morning hours of February 26, Indian warplanes attacked and destroyed the Islamic Fundamentalist terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed training centre at Jaba Top near Balakot town, just 50 odd km north of Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was located and executed. Approximately 300 inmates were killed in this precision attack, which caught the PAF with its pants down.
The PAF hit back with Operation Swift Retort mid-morning on 27 February 2019. 12 x F-16, 8 x JF-17 and 8 x Mirage III/V took part in this air attack, aimed at drawing out IAF SU-30 MKIs with a decoy strike force of the workhorse veteran Mirage ac escorted by the JF-17s, and then shooting them down using AIM 120C AMRAAMS fitted on their F-16C/D ac. The mission failed as the lack of practice of the PAF pilots involved resulted in poor coordination and hurried indiscriminate missile launches at a highly trained and versatile pair of SU-30 ac, whose pilots just shrugged the launches off as poorly timed and evaded them effortlessly. At the end of the mission, the PAF withdrew having lost one F-16 but salvaged a vestige of pride by shooting down an IAF veteran MiG-21 Bison ac.
Sqn Ldr Sameer Joshi (Ret'd) of the IAF has analysed the incidents of both days over months of back-breaking and highly commendable effort. His findings are printed in this blog, immediately below.