Indian Air Force fighters and naval ships on standby to Attack Pakistan
10 Dec 2008 11:15 AM CST
India has deployed naval ships and put fighters on standby across the country as it waits for definitive attack on Pakistan.
Top Indian military and security intel sources told that the Indian Air Force had fully armed its strike fighters as well as interceptor combat aircraft. The fighters are in scrambleready mode with pilots on standby in operation rooms. The state of readiness, referred to as Passive Air Defence in operational jargon, is the highest that the force has seen since Operation Parakram. The next phase — and the penultimate before a strike is ordered — will be the Active Air Defence.
While all squadrons along the western border are maintaining a high alert, Air Force assets in Bangalore and Chennai have also been put in flight-ready mode.
“The fighters are fully armed with various types of attack missiles. The southern stations will play an interceptive role in case of any intrusion from the Pakistani side,” sources said.
The Air Force is not allowing its personnel to avail leave. Leave granted to personnel handling crucial operations has been cancelled. Top sources also told Express that several batteries of surfaceto- air missiles have been moved to forward areas from the Gwalior base.
“Offensive weapons deployed. Air stations that are in operational readiness,” sources said.
In a related development, the Indian Navy has deployed 18 ships capable of playing combat roles in the western theatre.
Though the deployment is under the guise of a stricter scrutiny of vessel movement, sources said the strength is far greater than that needed for such an operation. “Eighteen ships in an area can be effectively used to slap a sea-denial on Pakistan in case of any escalation of the situation. During the height of the Kargil war, the Navy adopted the same strategy to transmit a clear message. It is a repeat, minus the Army movement, of operation Parakram,” sources said.
Operation Parakram, launched immediately after the Parliament attack, saw massive troop mobilisation from all over the country on the western border. The tension prevailed for a couple of months before it fizzled out due to American pressure. But this time there is not much mobilisation of ground forces as the bid is to project power through sophisticated weaponry like BrahMos rather than rev up battalions along the border.