Balakot Strike Current Affairs - 2019
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Indian Air Force (IAF) signed Rs.300 crore deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defence firm to procure a batch of SPICE 2000 guided bombs.
- The order for bombs was placed under Special Financial Powers given by government to armed forces for emergency purchases. The bombs are expected to be supplied within next three months.
- IAF used SPICE bombs for a non-military, pre-emptive strike on terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot region on February 2019. This Indian strike on JeM camp was conducted 12 days after JeM claimed responsibility for suicide attack on CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama region in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.
- Following Pulwama attack in February 2019, government granted emergency powers to all three defence services (Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy) for procuring weapons and military hardware so as to enhance their operational preparedness along border with Pakistan.
- Government also eased certain rules to cut delays in military purchase such as allowing three services to procure required weapons and equipment from a single vendor.
About SPICE 2000
- The SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective. It is guidance and maneuvering kit manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
- SPICE can overcome errors in locating target, GPS jamming and also reduces collateral damage.
- SPICE kit adds a sophisticated guidance system that consists of satellite guidance, inertial navigation and electro-optical sensors which can be used for pinpoint accuracy and adds control fins to a conventional unguided bomb (called as free-fall bomb/gravity bomb).
- It is reportedly biggest conventional bomb that can be delivered by IAF and is used on French-origin Mirage-2000 jets.
- The SPICE kit has two variants SPICE-1000 kit and SPICE-2000 kit. These two are difficult to detect by most ground-based radars.
- SPICE-1000: meant for 500kg bombs and has glide range of about 100km.
- SPICE-2000: meant for 1,000kg bombs and has a glide range of about 60km.
Tags: Balakot Strike • CRPF • Defence Procurement Deal • India-Israel • India-Pakistan • Indian Air Force • Indian Army • Indian Navy • Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems • Pulwama Attack • Rafael Advanced Defense Systems • Sophisticated Guidance System • SPICE 2000 Bombs • SPICE kit • SPICE-1000 • SPICE-2000
Pakistan will observe the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) retaliatory action on 27th February 2019 against India as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.
- It was mentioned at PAF’s Air Staff presentation, which is held quarterly every year to take stock of operational preparedness of the force.
- According to PAF, “swift response” demonstrates their firm resolve, capacity and capability in thwarting (opposing successfully) the criminal designs of adversary.
- Although it alarmed that its response to any new “misadventure by the adversary” (in this case India) would be stronger than before.
- After 14 February 2019, when Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attacked CRPF convoy in Pulwama, killing 40 CRPF soldiers, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated.
- Later on February 26 Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out counter-terror operation (Balakot Air Strike), hitting what it claimed was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on 26 February 2019.
- Then on 27 February the PAF retaliated and in an aerial combat between India and Pakistan, India lost its MiG-21 Bison aircraft and its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who allegedly shot down PAF’s F-16 fighter aircraft was captured by Pakistan. He was later released and handed over to India on March 1.
Tags: Abhinandan Varthaman • Aircraft • Balakot Strike • Bison • Defence • F-16 • IAF • India • Jaish-e-Mohammed • MiG-21 • MiG-21 Bison • Operation Swift Retort • PAF • Pakistan • Pakistan Air Force • Pulwama