As India celebrates Kargil Diwas 26th July and pays homage to martyrs of the war, it is time to recall the significant role of air power that actually tilted the balance in Operation Vijay, in July 1999, in India’s favour. The Indian Army supported by Indian Air Force (IAF) evicted the infiltrators from Pakistan on July 26, 1999.
1.The area of action was near Drass, which is 160 km east of Srinagar. Drass is one of the coldest inhabited places in the world with winter temperatures ranging between -48 and -54 degrees.
2. The military outposts in this region are at 16,000 to 18,000 ft. To regain the posts would mean an uphill climb against the enemy sitting on the top at vantage point.
3.On the second day IAF lost two fighter aircrafts, a MiG-21 to enemy missile fire, and a MiG-27, due to an engine failure. On the third day a Mi-17 helicopter was shot down by ground fire.
4.While PAF fighters did fly Combat Air Patrols (CAP) during the conflict, they stayed well within Pakistani air space. On occasions, IAF MiG-29s armed with the deadly R-77 BVR air-to-air missiles were able to lock on to PAF F-16s, forcing the latter to disengage.
5.An example of Indian jugaad – or improvisation – was the use of stopwatches and handheld GPS receivers in their cockpits by MiG-21 pilots lacking sophisticated onboard navigation suites
6.So called prime minister had NO IDEA !!!!
Prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif didn’t knew anything till late april that pakistan had violated international border and his army had send its troops on indian side (kargil).
Nawaz sharif had no idea what was going on behind his back , because the whole operation was top secret mission by the pakistan army .
only 4 people (gang of 4 ) knew about this whole mission which was led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, even chief of pak navy and pak air force were kept in dark.
7. Even chinese feared in war
A taped of conversation of general Pervez Musharraf and lt. gen got leaked in a chinese hotel during the war . which some says that was taped by chinese intelligence and was handed over to india through america because Chinese could not directly hand over it to india because of foreign relations with pakistan.
8. The bofors gun proved to be useful!!
The Bofors scandal was a major political scandal that occurred between Sweden and India during the 1980s and 1990s, initiated by Congress politicians and implicating the Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi and several other members of the Swedish and Indian governments.
But the same controversial Bofors howitzers will, one day, chart a new chapter by strengthening the Indian Army during the 199 Kargil war and will lead to its victory by giving it “an edge”, nobody could have imagined it. During India-Pakistan Kargil conflict, when the Indian army was going through a tough phase, then the Sweden-made Bofors weapons came to the rescue of the Indian soldiers.
We salute you all the martyrs !!