Tag: Indian Air Force

Fake news: Pakistani pilots trained on Rafale jets

Rafale
Rafale fighter jet

It seems news makers do not get enough of Rafale.  And if they don’t have genuine stories, they need to manufacture something around it, perhaps in the hope of generating some negative sentiments among the people in the poll season.

A case pertaining to the deal signed by the NDA government with the maker of French fighter jet is still in the Supreme Court, as a result of “tireless investigative job” by veteran journalists and activists to “pin point lapses” in the deal. But the first batch of Rafale jets is set to arrive in India this September. The advanced weaponized jets are expected to boost the strength of Indian Air Force immensely.

However, a news story about Pakistani pilots trained on Rafale jets started making rounds on Thursday under titles, such as “Should India worry?”

“As India awaits the arrival of its first Rafale fighter jet in September this year, a worrying bit of news has caused consternation – that Pakistani pilots were trained to fly the ace French fighter jets for Qatar,” Outlook magazine wrote in an article.

Referring to Aviation International News, the article said, “The first batch pilots trained for Qatar in November 2017 were Pakistani exchange officers”.

It quoted two tweets, one each from NCP leader Dr Jitendra Awhad and NDTV Defence Editor Vishnu Som. While Som called it bad news, Awad claimed Qatar bought Rafale for a third of what India has agreed to pay.

Moments later French Ambassador to India Alexan Ziegler put out a tweet that the news was fake.

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How could Surgical Strike 2 retain element of surprise

Mirage
Representative image

The airstrikes Indian Air Force carried out on the three terror camps inside Pakistan (including Balakot) on February 26 is touted as Surgical Strike 2 for it was deployed with an undiluted element of surprise.

It is significant as analysts were debating after Pulwama terror attack on CRPF jawans on February 14 that it would be difficult to retaliate with a surgical strike this time around (unlike in the case of Uri in 2016) as Pakistan would be fully prepared and alert. But when it did happen it proved that Pakistan was caught off guard once again.

Here are the five factors that might have helped retain the element of surprise in Surgical Strike 2.

  • India used at least five air bases to deploy fighter jets, early-warning aircraft and mid-air refuellers
  • The fighters flew from their home base in Gwalior instead of a forward base.
  • India had chosen its main target Balakot terror camps, deep inside Pakistani soil contrary to, perhaps, general expectation.
  • Pakistan was expecting attacks, if any, on terror camps along the Line of Control and they were evacuated
  • Perhaps, the buzz around the SC hearing of Article 35A might have created an impression that India would be busy dealing situation in Kashmir.