|PAF's Hasan Siddiqui (above) shot down IAF's Wing Commander Abhi (below)|
Abhijit Aiyar Mitra, an Indian aviation expert participating in an India Today TV Show, embarrassed the India TV show host Rahul Kanwal on live TV when asked to identify a wrecked engine as being an F-16 engine. The expert correctly stated that Pakistani F-16s are equipped with Pratt and Whitney engines and what the TV host was calling a Pakistani F-16 engine was made by a different manufacturer.
Both Kivimäki and Mitra concluded that the image offered as evidence of Pakistani F-16 engine was in fact from a MiG 21 wreckage.
Announcing the Indian air strikes in Pakistan, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale claimed the strike killed “a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of jihadis who were being trained for Fidayeen action were eliminated.” Another senior government official told reporters that about 300 militants had been killed.
The Indian government claim was soon followed by a video clip purportedly capturing a portion of that air strike on social media. Fact Check site snopes.com analyzed this video and declared the Indian claim "false".
Reuter reporters visited the target area in Balkot in Pakistan and talked to an eyewitness who said, “No one died. Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died.” Here's an excerpt from the Reuter's report:
People in the area said Jaish-e Mohammad did have a presence, running not an active training camp but a madrassa, or religious school, less than a kilometer from where the bombs fell. “It is Taleem ul Quran madrassa. The kids from the village study there. There is no training,” said Nooran Shah, another villager.
Indian Warplane Down:
There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.
All of the Indian claims about "JeM militant casualties" and shooting down of Pakistani F-16 have been debunked by independent fact-checkers and foreign media reporting on it. Villagers in Balakot told Reuters that "Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died.” Belling Cat's Veli-Pekka Kivimäkithere and Indian analyst Abhijit Mitra have said that the images of the wreckage being offered as proof of downed F-16 are in fact from MiG-21. There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.
Here's a video clip of Indian aviation expert Abhijit Mitra embarrassing his India Today host:
South Asia Investor Review
Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?
Modi's Blunders and Delusions
India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?
Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet
Pakistan Navy Modernization
Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability
Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?
South Asia Investor Review
Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?
Modi's Blunders and Delusions
India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?
Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet
Pakistan Navy Modernization
Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability
Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?
Good and needed writeup
There is little doubt that India has totally made a fool of itself. Modi should have resigned. But Pakistan should not underestimate India. We don’t want a repeat of the elation that followed the Rann of Kutch episode and then proceeded with the disastrous adventures, Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam in Kashmir which led to a full scale war in September 1965.
Ahmad: " Pakistan should not underestimate India"
In this instance, it's Modi and India being delusional. It's absolutely necessary for Pakistan to remind them of the reality. https://www.riazhaq.com/2015/10/indias-superpower-delusions-modis.html
"Desh Ka Bahut Nuksaan Hua Hai" Says #Modi on Losing to #Pakistan. #India #Balakot #Kashmir https://youtu.be/QIt0EAAr3PU via @YouTube
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered badly after his military's failures in Balakot and Kashmir. Not only did Indian air strikes fail but India lost aircraft and had one of its pilots captured in Kashmir.
An analysis based on Remote Sensing Satellite Imagery and ground Captutured images https://medium.com/dfrlab/surgical-strike-in-pakistan-a-botched-operation-7f6cda834b24?smid=nytcore-ios-share
"Using open-source evidence and satellite imagery, @DFRLab was able to confirm the location of the Indian airstrike to be near Balakot, rather than inside it, and firmly within Pakistani territory. The target was supposedly a JEM-led madrassa, but @DFRLab was unable to confirm that any bombs reached buildings associated with it.
The SPICE-2000 is a precision-guided bomb that should not miss its target by the approximately 100 meters that the impact craters were from the nearest structures. The autonomous nature of the SPICE-2000 adds mystery to why the bombs seemed to miss. Satellite imagery did not suggest that any damage was inflicted to nearby buildings. Vegetation and low imagery resolution could hypothetically obscure structural damage, but this remains highly improbably. Something appears to have gone wrong in the targeting process — exactly what, however, remains unclear in the open-source evidence."
What I found puzzling is the Indian use of a Mig-21. This is an ancient aircraft from the 1960's Cold War era. It should not be flying in combat conditions with modern fighters that would have no problem engaging it. The JF-17, while not as good as modern F-16 or the newer F-35, is a competent modern jet. India has better aircraft in its Air Force, and given the need to avoid embarrassing loss of planes over Pakistan, it is odd they used a Mig-21.
Paper elephant: #Modi's #India spends a fortune on #military and gets poor value for money. At $62billion, it has swept past that of its ex colonial master #UK. #Balakot #Pakistan #Kashmir #PakistanLeadsWithPeace #AbhinandanReturns https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/03/28/india-spends-a-fortune-on-defence-and-gets-poor-value-for-money via @TheEconomist
For nearly a decade India has also been the world’s top importer of arms. In terms of active manpower and the number of ships and planes, its armed forces are already among the world’s top five.
Measured by ambition, India may rank higher still. Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean. Having revealed its nuclear hand in 1998 with a series of tests, India has developed its own ground-hugging cruise missiles and is trying to perfect submarine-launched intercontinental ones, too. Since the Hindu nationalist party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, took power in 2014 it has also adopted a more muscular posture. Last summer it sparred with China atop the Himalayas in the tensest stand-off in decades. It has also responded to cross-border raids by militant groups from Pakistan not with counterinsurgency tactics and diplomatic ire, but with fierce artillery strikes against Pakistani forces.
I am waiting for Modi's response. He can not afford to be seen as weak, specially during election season.
Also, please check this:
After #India Loses Dogfight to #Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its #Military. Its loss of a plane last week to a country whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter of the funding is telling. #Kashmir #PakistanStrikesBack https://nyti.ms/2VwWjmz
India’s armed forces are in alarming shape.
It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check.
An Indian Air Force pilot found himself in a dogfight last week with a warplane from the Pakistani Air Force, and ended up a prisoner behind enemy lines for a brief time.
The pilot made it home in one piece, however bruised and shaken, but the plane, an aging Soviet-era MiG-21, was less lucky.
The aerial clash, the first by the South Asian rivals in nearly five decades, was a rare test for the Indian military — and it left observers a bit dumbfounded. While the challenges faced by the India’s armed forces are no secret, its loss of a plane last week to a country whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter of the funding was still telling.
India’s armed forces are in alarming shape.
If intense warfare broke out tomorrow, India could supply its troops with only 10 days of ammunition, according to government estimates. And 68 percent of the army’s equipment is so old, it is officially considered “vintage.”
“Our troops lack modern equipment, but they have to conduct 21st-century military operations,” said Gaurav Gogoi, a lawmaker and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense.
American officials tasked with strengthening the alliance talk about their mission with frustration: a swollen bureaucracy makes arms sales and joint training exercises cumbersome; Indian forces are vastly underfunded; and the country’s navy, army and air force tend to compete rather than work together.
Whatever the problems, the United States is determined to make the country a key ally in the coming years to hedge against China’s growing regional ambition.
Last year, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that the Pentagon was renaming its Pacific Command — to Indo-Pacific — he emphasized India’s importance in a shifting world order.
#India and The Cult of #Stupidity. It pledges unquestioning allegiance and absolute devotion to its leader #Modi. The great bulk of its ire is on universities of higher learning and attacks institutes of liberal education. #BJP #Hindutva https://thewire.in/society/india-and-the-cult-of-stupidity via @thewire_in
By Rohit Kumar
I have been searching for the longest time for the right words to describe something oppressive, pervasive and utterly bewildering that seems to have taken over large parts of Indian society over the last five years. I finally found the term I was looking for in the pages of a recently released collection of essays edited by Professor Apoorvanand called The Idea of a University.
Those words are “the cult of stupidity.” A blunt term to be sure, but an accurate one.
According to Prof Alok Rai, one of the contributing authors in this book,
“A great and aggressive cult of stupidity seems to have taken over the world. (…) The distrust of intellectuals, of people who have cultivated nuance and sophistication, (and) laboriously acquired an appreciation of complexity …”
The cult of stupidity has certainly spread across India. Like any other cult worth its name, this one, too, pledges unquestioning allegiance and absolute devotion to its leader – a demigod who can do no wrong, who despite his most glaring incompetencies and character flaws, is seen as the great answer to all the ills of the land.
Like other cults, this one also envisages a glorious new India where non-cult members will be bowed and subservient, and has apocalyptic visions of what could happen if they won’t. (The thought of co-existing harmoniously with ‘The Other’ does not cross its mind).
Most crucially, this cult, too, only sees the world in binaries – us vs. them, in-group vs. out-group, patriot vs. traitor – and pronounces judgment on those who refuse to see India as it does. This is why it actively resists and attacks those who look beyond binaries, who question why things are so, and who challenge established narratives and the status quo. That is also why it focuses the great bulk of its ire on universities of higher learning and attacks institutes of liberal education.
And lastly and most amazingly, the cult of stupidity only considers itself wise and everyone else stupid. How is such a thing even possible? The answer might lie in what Charles Darwin once said – “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
The Dunning-Kruger effect
More recently, in the late 1990s, a couple of social psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, shed light on a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are, but in reality lack the intelligence or awareness to recognise their own lack of intelligence and awareness. – A sadder or more apt description of the cult of stupidity would be hard to find.
Dunning and Kruger performed a series of experiments and found that people who scored in the lowest percentiles on tests of grammar, humour, and logic also tended to dramatically overestimate how well they had performed. (Their actual test scores placed them in the 12th percentile, yet they estimated that their performance had placed them in the 62nd percentile.)
Incompetent people, the researchers found, are not only poor performers, they are also unable to accurately assess and recognise the quality of their own work. These low performers were also unable to recognise the skill and competence levels of other people, which is part of the reason why they consistently view themselves as better, more capable, and more knowledgeable than others.
After Pulwama, the Indian media proves it is the BJP's propaganda ...
Washington Post-Mar 4, 2019
Suchitra Vijayan is the executive director of the Polis Project. Vasundhara Sirnate Drennan is director of research at the Polis Project.
#India-#Pakistan Conflict a Parade of #Lies. The lies began immediately after Indian forces attacked what they described as a terrorist training camp in #Balakot. They offered no visual proof but Indian #media filled in a government-friendly narrative.
The lies began immediately after Indian forces attacked what they described as a terrorist training camp in a Pakistani town called Balakot. The Indian government offered no visual proof of the effectiveness of its strikes, and there is still debate among Indian politicians about what was hit. Pakistan’s military quickly put out pictures from Balakot showing not much damage.
Indian media, however, appeared eager to fill in a government-friendly narrative. As the Indian fact-checking site Alt News documented, several outlets, including some of the country’s largest TV news networks, aired what they described as exclusive footage of Indian fighter jets attacking Balakot.
Microsoft survey: #India topping #fakenews menace globally, more pains likely ahead of polls - #BJP #Modi
Interestingly, the survey finds that there has been a sharp 9 percentage points increase in family and friends spreading online risks to 29 percent.
Internet users in the country are more likely to encounter fake news online than the global average and social circles are increasingly spreading risks, says a global survey.
The Microsoft survey, covering 22 countries and coming a few months ahead of the general elections, shows that as many as 64 percent of the Indians surveyed have encountered fake news as against the global average of 57 per cent.
The country is ahead of the global average on Internet hoaxes with 54 percent of those surveyed reporting so and also instances of phishing or spoofing at 42 per cent, Microsoft said in a statement Tuesday.
Interestingly, the survey finds that there has been a sharp 9 percentage points increase in family and friends spreading online risks to 29 percent.
"Social circles became riskier in India," the survey said, adding the jump to 29 percent has taken the country a little over the global average.
Indians are also higher than global average when it comes to reporting of severe pain from online risks, with 52 percent saying so as against the global average of 28 percent.
In what only complicates the matter, the country saw increased consequences from risks and little positive action taken following online risk exposure, the survey said.
"Indians match the worldwide trend for consequences and were more likely to say that they were stressed and lost sleep in the latest year versus the previous year's study," the survey said.
India also showed drop in positive actions taken following online risk exposure and are less likely to pause before replying to someone whom they disagreed with online. Millennials and teenagers are the hardest hit by online risks and also sought help online, it said.
Facebook, Twitter sucked into India-Pakistan information war
Drazen Jorgic, Alasdair Pal
ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pakistani social media campaigner Hanzala Tayyab leads about 300 ultra-nationalist cyber warriors fighting an internet war with arch-foe India, in a battle that is increasingly sucking in global tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook.
In India, similar nationalist groups are popping up and pushing to purge and punish those who they perceive to be critical of India – or supportive of Pakistan – on social media.
One such group, Clean the Nation, says its actions have resulted in more than 50 people who had posted what it called anti-India comments and remarks critical of India’s armed forces being arrested or suspended from work or education.
“This is our motherland and if someone is abusing people who are protecting our motherland, actually fighting on the ground, I don’t believe they should be allowed to work here or allowed to live here,” Rahul Kaushik, one of co-founders the group, told Reuters. “This is a clear case of treason, in our view.”
With a combined population of 1.5 billion, India and Pakistan are hot growth markets for Facebook and Twitter, say analysts.
But with many rival ultra-nationalist and extremist groups in the region using Facebook and Twitter platforms to advance their political agenda, both companies face accusations of bias whenever they suspend accounts.
Facebook has been buffeted by controversies across the globe in recent years, including for not stopping the use of fake accounts to try to sway public opinion in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and for not acting to stamp out hate speech on its platform that was fuelling ethnic violence in Myanmar.
Four Facebook and more than 20 Twitter accounts belonging to members of the Pakistan Cyber Force have been shuttered in the past two months, according to Tayyab, who is still angry at Twitter for shutting down his previous personal account in 2016.
A Twitter spokeswoman said: “We believe in impartiality and do not take any actions based on political viewpoints.”
#UnitedStates officials say no #Pakistan #F16 shot down by #India. Yet another #Modi lie exposed. #Balakot #Kashmir
India’s claim that one of its fighter pilots shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in an aerial battle between the two nuclear powers in February appears to be wrong. Two senior U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the situation told Foreign Policy that U.S. personnel recently counted Islamabad’s F-16s and found none missing.
The findings directly contradict the account of Indian Air Force officials, who said that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman managed to shoot down a Pakistani F-16 before his own plane was downed by a Pakistani missile.
The news comes just days before the start of India’s general elections, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking another term in office. In the weeks leading up to the election, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated to levels not seen in decades after a Pakistan-based militant group killed more than 40 Indian security officers in a Feb. 14 suicide bombing in India-controlled Kashmir. Both sides have been accused of spreading disinformation and fanning nationalistic flames.
Although the news likely won’t sway Indian voters, Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT, said the way the events have unfolded may affect India’s efforts to deter Pakistan in the future.
“As details come out, it looks worse and worse for the Indians,” Narang said. “It looks increasingly like India failed to impose significant costs on Pakistan, but lost a plane and a helicopter of its own in the process.”
The dogfight between the two nations occurred on Feb. 27, when India says a group of Pakistani jets entered its airspace in response to the first Indian air raid on Pakistani territory since a 1971 war. India scrambled its own jets and gave chase. During the aerial battle that ensued, Varthaman took a missile hit and ejected safely into Pakistani territory.
He was captured by the Pakistani army and released days later in an effort to de-escalate the crisis.
One of the senior U.S. defense officials with direct knowledge of the count said that Pakistan invited the United States to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized. Generally in such agreements, the United States requires the receiving country to allow U.S. officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected.
Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took U.S. personnel several weeks to account for all of the jets, the official said.
But now the count has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for,” the official said.
A second senior U.S. defense official with knowledge of the count confirmed that U.S. authorities on the ground found that no Pakistani F-16s were missing.
Evidence suggests that Pakistan’s F-16s were involved in the battle. The remnants of a U.S.-made AIM-120 air-to-air missile was found near the site; out of all the aircraft involved, only the F-16 can shoot such a weapon.
When the incident occurred, India asked the U.S. government to investigate whether Pakistan’s use of the F-16 against India violated the terms of the foreign military sale agreements.
However, the first defense official said the agreement did not involve any terms limiting the use of the F-16s.
“It would be incredibly naive for us to believe that we could sell some type of equipment to Pakistan that they would not intend to use in a fight,” the official said.
The U.S. State Department and the Indian and Pakistani embassies declined to comment.
Tweet from Prof Christopher Clary:
Some people say the US knows it lost an F-16 but can’t admit it for commercial/pride reasons. Let me just say that Pakistan has many enemies in the US bureaucracy and even more on the Hill, and I think if Pakistan lost an F-16 they would gleefully leak it.
From Asif Ghafoor ISPR
IAF claim of hitting F-16 by their Mig 21 before having been shot down by PAF gets exposed. All 4 missile seeker heads recovered intact from the wreckage & held. Pakistan and its professional Armed Forces staying humble by not drum beating. We have more truth on this to share.
"Post-#Pulwama, the #Indian media’s discourse has routinely ignored that the #Kashmiri context is one of structural violence emanating from an occupation, leaving it ripe for churning out more extremists like Adil Dar. " #Pakistan #Balakot #Modi #Kashmir https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-04-08/elections-loom-indias-modi-vows-end-terrorism-kashmir-more-military-force
“India uses exceptional violence as well as nationalist propaganda around Kashmir and presents it as a Pakistan-sponsored Islamist problem and the media in the country is mostly complicit with it,” says Nitasha Kaul, an assistant professor of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster in London.
Kashmir has been a disputed territory following the partition of India and Pakistan into independent states in 1947. Since then, three of the four Indo-Pakistani wars have been fought over this ideological slab of Himalayan real estate.
Despite international accounts of ongoing human rights violations, the Indian government has failed to recognize its decades-long occupation and suppression of Kashmiris as a root cause of extremism.
Controlling the narrative
The day following the Pulwama suicide attack, India withdrew Pakistan’s Most Favored Nation trade status. Then, Pakistan denied India’s “kneejerk” accusations of involvement and recalled its ambassador as tensions mounted.
Modi, facing pressure to maintain the upper hand as he heads into elections, responded to public indignation by ordering pre-emptive “surgical strikes” on alleged terror camps in Balakot, inside Pakistani territory, on Feb. 26.
Pakistan retaliated the next day by downing two aircraft that encroached into its airspace and captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. For a fleeting moment, tit-for-tat incursions appeared to draw New Delhi and Islamabad into a reckless bout of one-upmanship.
In a gesture of de-escalation, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan offered the IAF pilot’s release on March 1, and Varthaman was hailed as a national hero.
When it comes to reporting the conflict, the international media have “bought into the idea that this is an intractable territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and so long as the prospect of war between the nuclear-armed neighbors recedes, their focus on the suffering of Kashmiris seems largely nonexistent,” Kaul says.
The issue is that both India and Pakistan see Kashmir as an integral part of their national identities, which results in a “classic case of the forgetting of tremendous and long-enduring human suffering and of privileging of territorial statist narratives," according to Kaul.
This has led to Kashmir being distilled through purely a nationalist lens. “Much of the Indian media’s attitude towards Kashmir can be summed up in one line: Your history gets in the way of my national interest," Indian Kashmiri novelist Mirza Waheed told The World.
The imposition of the 1990 Armed Forces Special Powers Act, or AFSPA, bestowed Indian forces with broad powers to kill and arrest Kashmiris with impunity, resulting in human rights violations carried out during counterinsurgency operations, coupled with wrongful detentions without court orders under the 1978 Public Safety Act, which Amnesty International has denounced.
The period of the early 2000s did little to tackle the fundamental question of independence. New Delhi’s military occupation remained firmly embedded and infiltrated the everyday life of Kashmiris.
In the last three years alone, the Kashmiri death toll has reached over a thousand, with 2018 being the deadliest of the past decade.
In 2017, #Modi's #India accounted for about 70% of #internet shutdowns globally. There have been more than 300 reported shutdowns in India over the past six years. (there could be a lot more unreported shutdowns.) #censorship https://slate.com/technology/2019/04/india-internet-shutdowns-digital-authoritarianism-democracies.html via @slate
This disproportionate state response matters because it can come with costs, both social and economic. Observers can see the former because misused internet shutdowns can affect individuals’ ability to express even unpopular opinions freely—a right enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed in a 2012 Human Rights Council declaration, which extended protections to both offline and online spaces.
Consider how, in September 2012, after a viral video began to anger Muslims in the Kashmir Valley, the regional government of Jammu and Kashmir ordered telecommunications companies to restrict access to YouTube and Facebook there. But the telecom operators chose to overcomply, and they disrupted access to the entire internet, rather than to specific websites. While done for the sake of security—protests erupted as the video circulated—it isn’t a stretch to see how this overly broad latitude could be used to censor any opinion perceived as unpopular.
As for the economic cost, a recent study on shutdowns in India—conducted by the think tank ICRIER—finds that, from 2012 through 2017, 16,315 shutdown hours cost the country’s economy approximately $3.04 billion. This is hardly ideal for a country that yearns to cement its place as a major power on the international stage.
On top of that, a shutdown goes directly against the government’s Digital India initiative, which attempts to promote a cashless economy. This is because a cornerstone of the e-commerce industry is access to open and reliable internet. (Notably, an Indian ride-hailing operator, Ola Cabs, has created an “offline” variation of its app for areas that experience intermittent internet connectivity.)
International Civil Aviation Organization (#ICAO) data shows #Pakistani closed #airspace was affecting as many as 350 flights daily after #India #Pakistan air skirmishes over #Kashmir #Balakot. #Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital #aviation corridor. https://graphics.reuters.com/INDIA-KASHMIR-AIRLINES/010091M92G7/index.html
Pakistan continues to restrict its airspace after an air strike in late February by the Indian military in northern Pakistan. The disruption is forcing international airlines to take costly and time-consuming detours to the north and south, adding flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.
Hundreds of commercial and cargo flights are affected each day. Reuters counted 311 such flights between four airports in Europe and four in Southeast Asia.
Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor. In the week before the air space was closed, almost all the flights analysed passed directly over Pakistan, some coming extremely close the Kashmir region - the epicentre of tensions with India - including aircraft operated by Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa and Thai Airways, according to flight tracking service FlightRadar24. Routes that run through Pakistan on a north-south axis are not affected.
OPSGROUP, which monitors international flight operations, used International Civil Aviation Organization data to calculate that the closed airspace was affecting as many as 350 flights daily. Most rerouted as far south as Oman’s airspace, the group said.
Flight information regions (FIR) are how airspace is divided up for control. Pakistan has two: Karachi and Lahore. They, and the Kabul FIR, have seen a notable drop in air traffic since the conflict. Muscat, however, has seen an increase.
Flights between Europe and Southeast Asia are still suffering from the disruption. The group of 311 flights that Reuters analysed has taken different routes to avoid Pakistan, according to FlightRadar24.
OPSGROUP calculates that routing south to Oman, passing through the Muscat flight information region, adds about 280 miles (451 kilometres) to a flight from London to Singapore and 410 miles from Paris to Bangkok.
Reuters analysed flight time data from FlightRadar24 for several routes from Europe to Southeast Asia. For each individual route, 14 flights prior to Feb. 27, the day air space was closed, were compared to 14 recent flights prior to April 9.
Some flights are consistently delayed. KLM, Lufthansa and Thai Airways flights are taking up to two hours longer than before the conflict
#India's Air Force making excuses for failures against #Pakistan Air Force. Claims #tech failures in aerial battles with Pakistan. #IAF says Pakistan “has been consistently enhancing its air defense and offensive capabilities.” #Balakot #Kashmir – https://www.rt.com/news/457701-iaf-report-admits-failures-pakistan/
Airstrikes against ‘terrorist’ targets in Pakistan and subsequent aerial battles with Islamabad’s warplanes would have been more successful if India had better technology, a service report cited by local media admits.
The Indian Air Force’s ‘lessons learnt’ assessment primarily covered February’s retaliatory airstrike on a suspected jihadist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, resulting in a military flare-up with its neighbor. It found that IAF warplanes would have been able to do serious damage to their Pakistani adversaries – if they had access to weapons capable of doing so in the first place.
The wording of the report was somewhat careful about admitting this fact openly, suggesting that they would have been able to compete with their opponents more effectively if they had possessed “technological asymmetry.”
A litany of technical issues was found to have hampered the IAF’s combat prowess. On top of problems integrating new weapons with the available hardware, one of the fighter jet’s missiles apparently failed to deploy from the aircraft altogether due to issues with its navigation system. The same issue had featured in an earlier embarrassing report which suggested that India had likely shot down its own helicopter with a malfunctioning missile while attempting to target encroaching enemy craft.
The latest review also noted that since 1999’s Kargil War, Pakistan “has been consistently enhancing its air defense and offensive capabilities,” demonstrated in the recent clashes by their use of F-16 fighter jets, giving Islamabad an edge. India’s hardware, meanwhile, has become increasingly outdated.
“We felt we could not punish the adversaries appropriately. So we need to bolster technological asymmetry so that the enemy does not even dare to come close to the border,” one source told India’s Economic Times. While things didn’t go exactly as expected, the report reminds readers that “no battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy.”
India also maintained that it carried out the assault into Pakistani airspace in order to strike a training facility used by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which had carried out an attack in Pulwama, killing 40 Indian troops. However, Pakistan has consistently denied the existence of such camps, and said that the raid had merely destroyed some trees.
#Modi's suspect #GDP numbers have done real damage. #India's actual GDP growth between 2012 and 2017, according to Arvind Subramanian’s working paper for #Harvard U., may have been 2.5% lower than the official 7% rate...closer to 4.5%. http://www.ecoti.in/NAkSVb via @economictimes
This week, a top former government adviser (Arvind Subramanian) provided a statistical estimate. The actual GDP growth rate between 2012 and 2017, according to Arvind Subramanian’s working paper for Harvard University, may have been 2.5 percentage points lower than the official 7% rate.
India’s level of economic output may be overstated by anywhere between 9% and 21%. The issue isn’t whether Subramanian’s technique of looking at other countries’ performance to build a picture of India’s growth is robust. As ..
After complaints from #Indian users and #Hindu Nationalist government of #India's prime minister #Modi, #Twitter in mid-June 2019 suspended several users and suppressed the #truth about #Indian-#Pakistani military conflict. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/india-trying-suppress-military-analysts-twitter-63282
The suspensions targeting the so-called “open-source intelligence,” or OSINT, community raises serious questions about Twitter’s commitment to fairness, facts and intellectual freedom. Equally troubling is the Indian government’s apparent influence on a social-media platform with millions of users all over the world.
The accounts Twitter targeted all had one thing in common. They questioned the Indian government’s claims in the aftermath of the brief but intensive aerial clash between Indian and Pakistani warplanes over Kashmir in February 2019.
The battle began when Indian planes on Feb. 26, 2019 attempted to bomb an alleged Pakistani training camp outside Balakot, near the border with Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan claim the mountainous region. Military skirmishes and militant violence are frequent in Kashmir.
At least one Indian warplane, a MiG-21, was destroyed. Pakistani troops briefly held the pilot before repatriating him. New Delhi claimed its own forces shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter, but provided no evidence.
OSINT accounts closely followed the fighting and challenged claims from Indian and Pakistani sources. Open-source intelligence practitioners usually rely on a mix of news reports, social media, commercial satellite imagery and public ship- and flight-tracking software to keep tabs on military operations.
The OSINT analyst with the Twitter handle @ELINTNews the day of the initial Indian air raid questioned India’s claim that its jets shot down an F-16. “No evidence so far to corroborate India’s claim of it downing a Pakistani plane,” ELINTNews noted. By contrast, images quickly appeared on-line confirming Pakistan’s destruction of an Indian MiG.
A count of Pakistani F-16s later confirmed that none were missing.
Months later, India retaliated against the Twitter OSINT community. Reporter Snehesh Alex Philip summarized the situation in a June 18, 2019 story in The Print. “The social media giant has told handles like the popular @ELINTNews, that they’ve been suspended for ‘violating Indian laws.’”
“Seems they're knocking off the big OSINT accounts due to Indian complaints that they're terrorists, or something,” Steffan Watkins, a prominent Canadian OSINT analyst, told The National Interest.
“The move has led to speculation that the Indian Air Force is behind it,” Philip explained. “However, sources in the IAF remained tight-lipped about this development, with some also expressing ignorance.”
A notice Twitter sent to @ELINTNews confirmed that the social-media company had received “official correspondence” that prompted the ban.
Great Game India, a journal based in Hyderabad, celebrated Twitter’s attack on OSINT. “Very welcome step,” the journal tweeted. The journal in May 2019 conducted what one reporter described as an “independent social media tracking operation” and accused OSINT analysts of being fronts for the Pakistani government.
How incompetent is the #Indian Navy? Read scathing assessment of #US Naval Officer who spent 5 days onboard the Indian Navy warship, INS #Delhi . AMA. - LessCredibleDefence
I see a lot of disappointments/shock in your comments. Were there any positives? Did they have good food?
Actually, their food was excellent. They also made really good tea, too. I drank nothing but hot milk tea my entire 5 days there because I was afraid of drinking the water (I saw their reverse osmosis units, dear god).
How bad was it?
15+ years old and they looked like nobody had done any maintenance in the last 5+ years. Their ROs were in such poor shape that despite having a greater fresh water production capacity than my ship by several thousand gallons, they were still on water hours.
How do they runs things differently then the USN?
Their engineering practices were abysmal. No undershirts, no steel-toed boots - they wore sandals - no hearing protection in their engineering spaces. No lagging (sound dampening material) in any space. No electrical safety whatsoever. No operational risk management. No concept of safety of navigation. Absolutely did not adhere to rules of the road. They more or less did not have any hard-copy written procedures for any exercise or event, at all. They had no concept of the coded fleet tactical system that US coalition forces and allies utilize (they literally made it up as they went along, and when I tried to interject and explain to them how it worked, they ignored me). When I arrived onboard they thought I was a midshipman and treated me as such. I had to be frank and explain that I was a commissioned officer and that yes, I stood officer on the deck onboard my ship and was a qualified surface warfare officer. They don't entrust their people with any responsibility until they are very senior Lieutenants (O-3s) and junior Lieutenant Commanders (O-4s). At this point in the US Navy there are literally guys commanding ships, and these guys couldn't even be trusted to handle a radio circuit.
How knowledgeable did you find the officers to be?
Well, their captain was driving the ship when it came within 50ft of the stern of a USNS replenishment ship and at any given time there were multiple officers on the bridge screaming at each other. They were generally clueless and had almost zero seamanship skills. I found their enlisted guys to be far more competent than their officers on the bridge.
Why do you think they're so incompetent and have such crappy operations?
Well, coming within 50ft of another ship at sea is never a good sign. But, afterwards, the general consensus/excuse that they came up with during their mini-debrief was "oh well, rough seas, better luck next time" not "holy ******* ****, we parted a tensioned wire cable made of braided steel under hundreds of thousands of pounds of tension". And wearing sandals during replenishment/helo ops/boat ops/in engineering spaces pretty much says it all. They legitimately didn't understand why I was wearing steel-toed flight deck boots. Things like these aren't cultural differences, they are golden exhibitions of their sheer lack of common sense and seamanship.
1. Are you breaking any US Navy rules by telling us all this?
2. How did they do in the exercise? Did they get "sunk" five times or what?
3. Were there equivalent Indian Navy personnel on a US Navy ship and do you happen to know their assessment? Were they disappointed by the lack of slaves?
4. Let's say * * * * hits the fan. India and Pakistan (or any other country. Take your pick) are at war and the ship you were on is sent into action. Would they be an effective fighting force or are they on the bottom of the ocean before the first day of shooting? Great AMA btw!
#India’s ex chief economist Arvind Subramanian to produce new paper to defend his claim India’s #GDP is overestimated. Actual growth was just 4.5% from 2011 to 2017. #Modi #BJP #economy
Former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian is set to produce another working paper on GDP estimation, as he looks to address criticism about his claim that India’s GDP was overestimated by 2.5 percentage points.
Subramanian’s previous paper, released last month, had pointed out that India may have only grown at an average of 4.5 per cent in the period 2011-12 and 2016-17, and not 7 per cent as suggested by official estimates.
Using various real sector indicators like exports, credit growth, freight rates and factory output, Subramanian had pointed out that these indicators declined significantly post-2011, but GDP growth rate was hardly affected.
Subramanian’s use of real indicators to measure the GDP came in for severe criticism from economists and statisticians. The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council had pointed out that the methodology used by Subramanian overlooked tax data and didn’t have adequate services sector representation. The council said the correlation between the indicators and GDP growth could change over time.
Speaking at an event organised by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Subramanian defended his GDP overestimation claims, saying his framework attempted “not to estimate but to validate GDP growth estimates”.
Discussing a yet to be released follow-up paper to his earlier study, Subramanian said: “India’s overall GDP deflator is substantially underestimated.”
The average differential between GDP deflator and Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased considerably between the 2002-11 and 2012-16 periods, with CPI exceeding GDP deflator by 0.6 percentage points pre-2011 and by 2.9 percentage points post it, he noted. This underestimation, he said, could be seen as linked to the real GDP growth rate overestimation.
Both GDP deflator and CPI are measures of inflation, and GDP deflator is used as a divisor to estimate real GDP from its nominal counterpart.
Reacting to the arguments made in the past few weeks — that GDP could have grown as a result of government policies or a productivity surge — he went about demonstrating that none of these factors actually explain the high official GDP growth rates post-2011.
Acknowledging that some of the Modi government’s reforms like GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and welfare schemes like cooking gas and toilets have been truly transformative, he said that they cannot adequately explain the growth in GDP.
He also rejected the productivity surge argument. “It is unlikely that a productivity surge could have taken place under UPA-2 with its considerable policy collapse and a mini-crisis prevailing,” he said.
He identified India’s twin balance sheet problem — the NPA crisis facing its banks and the huge debt burden of its corporates — as one of the major shock events that may have impeded growth.
How the IAF compares with the PAF
Bidanda Chengappa | Updated on March 01, 2019 Published on March 01, 2019
The IAF has maintained a numerical edge in terms of fighter aircraft over the PAF of almost 3:1. With depletion of numbers in the IAF’s combat squadrons, this edge is currently down to around 1.4:1. The strength of the combat squadrons will soon drop below 30 squadrons. Once the IAF gets back to its sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons, the edge should evolve to 2:1.
An IAF fighter squadron has 18 operationally deployed aircraft with three in reserve. This totals to 900 fighter aircraft of which around two squadrons or 40 aircraft may cease to be fully operational every year as they reach the end of their life. But the IAF is unlikely to get the 42 squadrons till 2035.
The PAF currently has 22 fighter aircraft squadrons that translate into about 410 aircraft. These include around 70 JF-17s, 45 F-16s, 69 Mirage IIIs, 90 Mirage Vs and 136 F-7s. The JF-17, a China-designed aircraft, is claimed to be a fourth-generation, multi-role aircraft. It is reported that another 100 are on order.
The PAF plans to acquire 250 aircraft to replace its Mirage IIIs and F-7s. Some of these would be Block 2 version with 4.5 generation features while some more would be Block 3 and are expected to have fifth-generation characteristics. The PAF is also said to have placed an order for 36 Chinese J-10s a 4.5 generation aircraft. The J-10 is expected to be inducted as the FC-20, an advanced PAF-specific variant.
The PAF’s fighter aircraft currently are of four types, which are planned to be reduced to three multi-role types, namely the F-16, JF-17 and FC-20 by 2025. Russia and Pakistan have also been talking about the possible purchase of the Sukhoi-35 air-superiority multi-role fighter. The PAF plans to procure 30-40 Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter aircraft to replace the F-16 fighter jets. The FC-31 is designed to fly close air support, air interdiction and other missions. However, the PAF is more likely to employ conventional tactical aircraft rather than stealth aircraft in actual missions to support Pakistani ground forces.
The PAF with a smaller fighter aircraft inventory is the seventh largest air force in the world and the largest in the Islamic world. PAF pilots are well-trained, with battle experience and high morale. The PAF is also an inherently air-defence oriented force. As earlier, in an exclusive Indo-Pak war scenario, the PAF will be kept head-down by the IAF and is likely to be defeated. In the shadow of nuclear stand-off, a full-fledged war is less likely.
In a limited war as a follow-up to a trigger incident or a surgical strike, the IAF will be much better placed on account of its larger weapon inventory and superior platforms. There is a considerable scope for conventional offensive action short of the nuclear threshold.
Lately, the induction of Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft into the subcontinent has altered the regional strategic environment. It enables the two sides to keep an eye on each other, and in India’s case, Pakistan’s ally China. These AEW aircraft provide low altitude coverage for both sides, looking into mountain valleys and across the horizon over the sea.
Pakistan’s diverse terrain, which includes sea, desert, glaciers and mountains, means monitoring these areas was ‘patchy’ because ground based air defence radars cannot cover the sea, and not always the land. While the PAF has two AEW aircraft, the IAF has two AWACS and three AEW aircraft, which will make air warfare that much more challenging in the subcontinent.
The writer is a Professor of International Relations and Strategic Studies at Christ Deemed to be University, Bengaluru
Uncovered: 265 coordinated fake local media outlets serving Indian interests
Over 265 fake local news sites in more than 65 countries are managed by an Indian influence network.
How could you know that your local news website, such as newyorkmorningtelegraph.com, thedublingazette.com, or timesofportugal.com serves Indian governmental interests?
Here are some findings from these websites:
Most of them are named after an extinct local newspaper or spoof real media outlets;
They republish content from several news agencies (KCNA, Voice of America, Interfax);
Coverage of the same Indian-related demonstrations and events;
Republications of anti-Pakistan content from the described Indian network (including EP Today, 4NewsAgency, Times Of Geneva, New Delhi Times);
Most websites have a Twitter account as well.
One may wonder: why have they created these fake media outlets? From analysing the content and how it is shared, we found several arguments to do so:
Influence international institutions and elected representatives with coverage of specific events and demonstrations;
Provide NGOs with useful press material to reinforce their credibility and thus be impactful;
Add several layers of media outlets that quote and republish one another, making it harder for the reader to trace the manipulation, and in turn (sometimes) offer a “mirage” of international support;
Narendra Modi’s India
The Prime Minister’s Hindu-nationalist government has cast two hundred million Muslims as internal enemies.
By Dexter Filkins
On February 14th, a suicide bomber crashed a car laden with explosives into an Indian military convoy in Kashmir, killing forty soldiers. The attack energized Modi: he gave a series of bellicose speeches, insisting, “The blood of the people is boiling!” He blamed the attack on Pakistan, India’s archrival, and sent thousands of troops into Kashmir. The B.J.P.’s supporters launched a social-media blitz, attacking Pakistan and hailing Modi as “a tiger.” One viral social-media post contained a telephone recording of Modi consoling a widow; it turned out that the recording had been made in 2013.
On February 26th, Modi ordered air strikes against what he claimed was a training camp for militants in the town of Balakot. Sympathetic outlets described a momentous victory: they pumped out images of a devastated landscape, and, citing official sources, claimed that three hundred militants had been killed. But Western reporters visiting the site found no evidence of any deaths; there were only a handful of craters, a slightly damaged house, and some fallen trees. Many of the pro-Modi posts turned out to be crude fabrications. Pratik Sinha, of Alt News, pointed out that photos claiming to depict dead Pakistani militants actually showed victims of a heat wave; other images, ostensibly of the strikes, were cribbed from a video game called Arma 2.
But, in a country where hundreds of millions of people are illiterate or nearly so, the big idea got through. Modi rose in the polls and coasted to victory. The B.J.P. won a majority in the lower house of parliament, making Modi the most powerful Prime Minister in decades. Amit Shah, Modi’s deputy, told a group of election workers that the Party’s social-media networks were an unstoppable force. “Do you understand what I’m saying?” he said. “We are capable of delivering any message we want to the public—whether sweet or sour, true or fake.”
For many, Modi’s reëlection suggested that he had uncovered a terrible secret at the heart of Indian society: by deploying vicious sectarian rhetoric, the country’s leader could persuade Hindus to give him nearly unchecked power. In the following months, Modi’s government introduced a series of extraordinary initiatives meant to solidify Hindu dominance. The most notable of them, along with revoking the special status of Kashmir, was a measure designed to strip citizenship from as many as two million residents of the state of Assam, many of whom had crossed the border from the Muslim nation of Bangladesh decades before. In September, the government began constructing detention centers for residents who had become illegal overnight.
#Indian Army commanders left Brigade HQ in #Kashmir minutes before’ PAF bomb fell in compound 27 Feb. #Pakistan claimed bomb was dropped near Brigade HQ in Rajouri to show its capability. #India believes PAF actually planned to hit the facility. #Balakot
When Pakistan Air Force fighter jets dropped a bomb near an Indian defence installation in Jammu and Kashmir on 27 February — a day after the Balakot strike by the Indian Air Force — Islamabad claimed that this was done to display its capability and not target the Indian military.
The H-4 Stand-Off Weapon, a precision-guided glide bomb, dropped by the PAF fell into the compound of the Indian Army Brigade Headquarters in the Rajouri sector, making it a close call.
This call, ThePrint has learnt, was much closer than known earlier as two top Indian Army commanders — Northern Army Commander Lt Gen. Ranbir Singh and 16 Corps Commander Lt Gen. Paramjit Singh — had stepped out of the Brigade Headquarters “minutes before” the bomb fell.
The two commanders, top sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint, had left for a nearby post when the PAF bomb fell into the compound of the Brigade Headquarters. This post was less than 700 metres from the spot where the bomb struck.
The Northern Command and the Indian Army headquarters did not respond to requests for comment from ThePrint for this report.
#India’s #French #Rafale to be ‘outgunned’ by #Pakistan's #JF17 fighter aircraft with longer-ranged #Chinese PL-15 missiles. “The IAF allowed itself to be outgunned by focusing on platform acquisitions, rather than weapon system and sensor upgrades" #Modi http://shr.gs/kID6TzP
INDIA's Air Force chief Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria has issued a strong warning to the political leaders of India, as $7.8billion Rafale jet is insufficient to meet the country's defence requirements. India previously signed a $7.8billion contract with French Dassault Aviation to buy the aircraft in 2019.
However, Indian Air Force (IAF) veteran, Vijainder Thakur, believes it is the best aircraft in the forces’ inventory now. He said: “The IAF allowed itself to be outgunned by focusing on platform acquisitions, rather than weapon system and sensor upgrades. The technical advantage gained by the IAF through the acquisition of the Rafale would be transient because it would be based largely on the weapon systems and sensors of the Rafale.
“With sufficient military foresight, the IAF could have armed its Su-30MKI with longer range air-to-air missiles acquired from Russia rather than continuing to rely on the lesser ranged missile ordered years ago from Ukraine.
“The IAF fulfilled the expectations only after it made an emergency purchase of Laser-Guided Bombs and targeting pods.”
However, a determined nemesis like the Pakistan Air Force, could deploy longer-ranged Chinese PL-15 missiles on an updated version of the JF-17 jet.
The Pakistan Air Force’s single engine multirole fighter, the JF-17 manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, is due for a major upgrade.
The Chinese newspaper, Global Times, reported earlier this year that the upgraded JF-17 fighter jet will have “an infrared search and track system and a radar cross section reducing ‘pseudo-stealthy’ airframe”.
The Indian Air Force’s focus on platforms rather than sensors and weapon systems was evident during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan two decades ago.
The JF-17 fighter jet has also been equipped with an PL-15 Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile that has posed serious concern among the US air force.
The former head of the US Air Force, Herbert Carlisle, believes that the missiles’ long range is an ‘exceedingly high priority’.
He said: “The PL-15 and the range of that missile, we’ve got to be able to out-stick that missile.”
Last year, a day after the IAF struck an alleged terror training camp at Balakot, the Pakistani Air Force surprised the IAF with its longest range AMRAAM.
The Indian Air Force ordered a large amount of Russian air-to-air missiles, such as R-27 and R-73’s very shortly after.
Emphasising the importance of air-to-air missiles, the Indian Air Force Chief, Bhadauria, attended a seminar on it in New Delhi on Friday.
He said that when the missile goes on to the SU-30 And MiG-29, that the power of parity and better performance will spread across the air force.
The Indian Air Force will start taking delivery of the Rafale jets in May 2020.
Mr Thakur’s comments come one year after Pakistan’s military accused India’s aircraft of crossing into its territory and carrying out an airstrike.
Pakistani villagers were in the area where Indian jets struck and said they heard four loud bangs at approximately 3am on February 26th 2019, according to Reuters.
A senior government source said 300 militants had been killed in the strikes, but no further details were provided.
However in a conflicting report, Pakistan’s military has said there were no casualties from the air attack.
#Pakistan Could Have Technical Edge on #Indian Air Force Despite #Rafale jets, says IAF veteran Vijainder Thakur. Determined adversary like the #PAF with its #JF17 jets equipped with long range PL-15 missile could turn the tables on #IAF. https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202003021078443837-pakistan-could-have-technical-edge-on-indian-air-force-despite-rafale-jet-deployment-iaf-veteran/ via @SputnikInt
New Delhi (Sputnik): On Friday, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief RKS Bhadauria said the 36 Rafale jets were not the whole solution to the IAF's needs. India signed a $7.8 billion contract with French Dassault Aviation to buy the aircraft in 2019.
Sitting beside Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria issued a strong warning to the political leadership of India, claiming that the Rafale fighter jet is insufficient to meet the country's defence needs.
IAF veteran Vijainder K Thakur told Sputnik that Rafale is definitely the best aircraft in the IAF's inventory now. However, a determined adversary like the Pakistan Air Force could turn the tables on the IAF by deploying longer-ranged Chinese PL-15 missiles on an updated version of the JF-17 jet.
“The technical advantage gained by the IAF through the acquisition of the Rafale would be transient because it would be based largely on the weapon systems and sensors of the Rafale,” Thakur said.
The IAF's excessive focus on platforms rather than sensors and weapon systems was evident during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan two decades ago. “The IAF fulfilled the expectations only after it made emergency purchases of Laser-Guided Bombs and targeting pods,” Thakur said.
Powered Up JF-17
The Pakistan Air Force’s single engine multirole fighter, the JF-17 manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, is due for a major upgrade, similar to the advanced technologies seen on the J-20 stealth fighter, the Chinese newspaper Global Times reported earlier this year.
It is confirmed by the Chinese outlet that the upgraded JF-17 fighter jet will have “an infrared search and track system and a radar cross section reducing ‘pseudo-stealthy’ airframe”.
The JF-17 fighter jet has been also equipping with PL-15 Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile that has posed serious concern among the US Air Force due to the long range of its missiles.
Herbert J. Carlisle, the then head of the US Air Force’s combat command, was quoted by Flight Global as saying that outmatching the Chinese PL-15 air-to-air missile in particular is an “exceedingly high priority”.
“The PL-15 and the range of that missile, we’ve got to be able to out-stick that missile,” US Air Force’s Command chief had said in 2015.
Lessons From Balakot Strike and Options for India
On February 27 2019, a day after the IAF struck an alleged terror training camp at Balakot, the PAF surprised the IAF with its longer range AMRAAM and better supporting sensor capability.
“IAF allowed itself to be outgunned by focusing on platform acquisitions, rather than weapon system and sensor upgrades. With sufficient military foresight, the IAF could have armed its Su-30MKI with longer range air-to-air missiles acquired from Russia rather than continuing to rely on the lesser ranged missile ordered years ago from Ukraine,” IAF veteran Thakur asserted.
The Indian Air Force ordered a large batch of Russian air-to-air missiles such as R-27, R-73 very shortly after Balakot strike.
Emphasising the importance of indigenous Astra air-to-air missile, Indian Air Force Chief Bhadauria said at a seminar in New Delhi on Friday that when the missile goes on to the Su-30 and MiG-29, that the power of parity and better performance will spread across the air force.
The Indian Air Force will start taking delivery of the Rafale jets in May 2020.
National Geographic Documentary: From #Pulwama False Flag to the Defeat of #Indian Air Force. It was an ultimate embarrassment for Indian Air Force Which will be remembered for years to come. #India #Pakistan #PAF #Kashmir #Balakot
https://youtu.be/mSS8BTrGBFI via @YouTube
Three Days Standoff: Pakistan - India | 26 Feb 2020 (ISPR Official Video)
"I am proud of the armed forces that responded to Indian aggression across the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakot with maturity which will be remembered by India.
: PM Imran Khan
national geographic documentary on abhinandan varthaman
#Pakistan Air Force (#PAF) to buy more #AWACS from #Sweden. The aircraft can perform multiple missions & comes with a range of sensors, including its Erieye airborne radar. Pakistan is understood to currently operate 6 Saab 2000 Erieyes and #SaudiArabia 2. https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/saab-2000-lands-secretive-aewandc-deal/138431.article#.XsR0AhDAdQw.twitter
Saab has secured an SKr1.6 billion ($165 million) order for an undisclosed number of its Saab 2000 Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft.
“The industry’s nature is such that due to circumstances concerning the product and customer, further information about the customer will not be announced,” says the company.
Deliveries will run from 2020 to 2023.
Saab notes that the aircraft can perform multiple missions and comes with a range of sensors, including its Erieye airborne radar.
Pakistan is understood to operate six Saab 2000 Erieyes and Saudi Arabia two.
The Pakistan military’s yearbook for 2017-2018 disclosed that Islamabad also obtained three baseline Saab 2000s for a total cost of $9.3 million.
After #spypigeon, #Pakistan sending #locust army to India? #Indian media warn #NewDelhi not to let its “guard down just yet” citing declassified #CIA files of its Cold War in which animals were used to photograph sensitive sites in the former #USSR. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2231962/1-tribune-fact-check-spy-pigeon-pakistan-sends-locust-army-india/
Indian media has claimed that Pakistan is behind the locust attack that has swept the country.
Arnab Goswami, an anchor at Indian news channel Republic TV, made the bizarre allegation on air alleging that the locusts were sent from across the border as a plot to “destroy the country’s agriculture and in-turn the economy”.
Goswami went on to claim tthat the locusts would target Pakistan soldiers.
Indian news outlet The Economic Times, also ran a story probing how the possibility.
The article went as far as to warn New Delhi not to let its “guard down just yet” citing declassified CIA files of its Cold War in which animals were used to photograph sensitive sites in the former USSR.
“As CIA also trained ravens and dolphins, Pakistani locusts should merit closer examination too,” the report states.
The short-horned grasshoppers invaded agriculture fields in both Pakistan and India decimating crops and risking famine in the region.
The locusts entered into the southwestern Balochistan province, from neighboring Iran.
These insects, mainly originating from deserts, eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers while traveling up to a speed of 93.2 miles (149 kilometers) a day.
After destroying crops in western Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, the locusts’ swarms are heading towards national capital Delhi in large numbers.
Indian police also released a pigeon belonging to a Pakistani fisherman after a probe found that the bird, which had flown across the contentious border between the nuclear-armed nations, was not a spy.
“The pigeon was set free yesterday (May 28) after nothing suspicious was found,” said Shailendra Mishra, a senior police official in Indian occupied Kashmir.
It was unclear where the bird was released and whether it flew back to its owner.
The Pakistani owner of the pigeon had urged India to return his bird, which Indian villagers turned over to police after discovering it.
No wonder #Nepal cut off #India's channels that broadcast 24X7X365 false news and #Delhi's propaganda against neighbors! #Pakistan #China #Bhutan #SriLanka https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/indian-news-channels-face-a-broadcasting-ban-in-nepal/
The Multi-System Operators (MSO) have decided to stop the broadcast of Indian news channels in Nepal. The decision will come into effect, immediately, on Thursday.
According to the operators’ latest decision, viewers will not have access to any Indian news channels, except for the Indian state owned Doordarshan news.
While some cable operators implemented the ban immediately, the others are yet to follow suit.
The move comes in the wake of unfounded reports on Nepal carried by some of the Indian news channels, including their defamatory ‘shows’ on the Nepali Prime Minister along with the Chinese envoy.
Earlier today, the spokesperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Narayan Kaji Shrestha had slammed the Indian media for their ‘nonsense’ reports on matters related to Nepal and the Nepali government.
These measures follow the events wherein an Indian news channel, Zee Hindustan, broadcasted an imaginative and defamatory programme linking PM Oli with Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi.
Wormhole Escalation in the New Nuclear Age
Increasingly capable and intrusive digital information technologies, advanced dual-use military capabilities, and diffused global power structures will reshape future crises and conflicts between nuclear-armed adversaries and challenge traditional ways of thinking about escalation and stability. This emerging security environment will require new concepts and tools to manage the risk of unintended escalation and reduce nuclear dangers.
The India-Pakistan crisis in February 2019, which culminated with widespread disinformation and highly escalatory rhetoric on both sides demonstrates the potential “out of control” nature of sub-conventional information warfare. In the immediate aftermath of the terror attack in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state that killed 40 Indian paramilitary members, an aggressive disinformation campaign was launched to link the incident to India’s upcoming parliamentary elections.27Notably, disinformation spread via WhatsApp that claimed that a leader of the Indian National Congress party, the opposition party, had offered a bribe to the suicide bomber’s family.28 Additional narratives were also disseminated, many of which portrayed the opposition party as “being soft on militancy”29 in Kashmir. Because Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had 1.2 million volunteers operating the party’s social media campaign for the elections, misinformation and false narratives about the escalating crisis with Pakistan spread rampantly. In the days following the attack in Kashmir, Facebook removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to Indian political parties and Pakistan’s military. Yet, this disinformation campaign ultimately reached over 2.8 million Facebook users.30 What was once intended to influence domestic politics to bolster support for the Bharatiya Janata Party seemed to spiral out of control even as both countries came to the brink of a broader military conflict.
These strategies of strategic competition in the sub-conventional domain may not be entirely new, but the tools that enable them have transformed the strategic significance of the unconventional battlespace and the coercive power of hybrid warfare. Fueled by technological innovation — particularly in digital media-based technology as well as cyber operations, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning — today’s competitive landscape is more complex and dynamic than before. The growing number of weapons in the sub-conventional arsenal include a range of kinetic and non-kinetic coercive tools, tactics, and strategies. The rise of the cyber domain; connectivity of global commerce, finance, and communications; speed and penetration of the internet; and prevalence and intimacy of social media that reaches nearly 40 percent of the world’s population have reshaped the competitive domain now commonly called the “gray zone”.3 Today’s proxies and surrogates look more like online trolls who wander freely inside one’s digital homeland, enabled by advanced cyber and disinformation tools and weaponized social media, rather than armed guerillas fighting internal wars with black-market weaponry in distant territories. Moreover, these new forms of influence and information warfare are not the exclusive domain of great powers. Rather, the accessibility of information technology suggests a leveling of the playing field for great powers, non-state actors, states, and non-government entities alike.
Reported by #Indian #media, the biggest purveyor of #fakewnews about #Pakistan:" 'Civil-War' Like Situation in Karachi After Clashes Between Sindh Police & Pakistan Army Over Kidnapping Rumours of Police Chief" via @indiacom #India #Modi #BJP #Karachi https://www.india.com/news/world/civil-war-like-situation-in-karachi-after-clashes-between-sindh-police-pakistan-army-over-kidnapping-rumours-of-police-chief-4179959/
According to information posted by The International Herald on Twitter, 10 Karachi police officers died in clashes that broke out in the Pakistan city. It also claimed that a ‘civil war’ has broken out following clashes between Sindh police and the Army. The report cannot be immediately confirmed.
Watch Indian fake news anchor Arnab Goswami claim that Pakistani Army officers retreating from Panjshir Valley are now on the 5th floor of the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Fact: There are only three floors, including ground floor, in Kabul Serena hotel building.
In 'The Debate' on Republic World TV last week, Goswami invited Indian analyst General G.D. Bakshi and PTI spokesperson Abdul Samad Yaqoob — to represent Pakistan.
Goswami to Yaqoob: "You go and check today ... on the fifth floor of the Serena Hotel, I am telling you, please check, fifth floor of the Serena Hotel in Kabul, how many Pakistani army officers are there?"
Yaqoob: " "What I got to know from my sources [is that] Serena has only two floors. There are no third, fourth or fifth floors."
#Indian Def Analyst Bharat Karnad: #Abhinandan "is perhaps the only fighter pilot in history to be awarded a gallantry award — Vir Chakra, for being shot down over enemy territory after a questionable...kill by him of an enemy warplane" #Pakistan #PAF #IAF https://bharatkarnad.com/2021/11/08/chinas-n-buildup-and-one-other-thing-abhinandan/
The news about Wing Commander Abhinandan making a time-grade promotion to Group Captain made me think about what brought him notoriety. He is perhaps the only fighter pilot in history to be awarded a gallantry award — Vir Chakra, for being shot down over enemy territory after a questionable, if not imaginary, kill by him of an enemy warplane. The IAF and the Indian government doubled down on the story that the combat aircraft Abhinandan shot out of the skies was a Pakistani F-16 even when it had too many holes in it. He was welcomed back, feted as a war hero with the then Air Chief, BS Dhanoa, even flying a celebratory sortie with him in a twin-seater MiG-21 Bison. Such are the small successes IAF is now reduced to.
Not to go into the details of this episode, but what really happened? In broad brush terms, Abhinandan was obviously hotdoggin’ it, picked up an adversary aircraft on his radar, went after it in hot pursuit, fired off a shortrange R-60 air-to-air missile. That missile hit something; he claimed it was an F-16. In the heat of the pursuit, he little realized he had intruded into Pakistani airspace and, too late to maneuver and scoot out of trouble, found himself and his MiG-21 shot down by a PAF plane that had him in its “cone”.
But it was not an F-16. The fact that no team from Lockheed Martin — producer of the F-16 aircraft, hightailed it to India or Pakistan to ascertain the details of that engagement is proof enough that no hardware of their’s was involved.
If it was not a PAF F-16, many IAF veterans speculate what Abhinandan had in his sights was an ex- Chinese-built JF-17. Two parachutes were observed floating down after that fighting incident, conforming to the fact of two pilots of two downed aircraft. So, why have Abhinandan and the IAF stuck to the F-16 story? Because, well, there is more glory in shooting down a frontline F-16 than a Chinese ripoff of a Russian MiG-21 — the JF-17.
China’s ‘Most-Powerful’ Missile Defense System Likely To Be Deployed Along Both LAC & LOC
EurAsian Times Desk
October 21, 2021
Pakistan Army’s air defense unit has recently inducted a variant of the Chinese-made HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system most likely to be deployed along the LOC. China had earlier deployed these missiles along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), its de facto border with India.
The HQ-9/P (P for Pakistan) high-to-medium air defense system (HIMADS) was inducted into the Pakistan Army at a ceremony held at the Army Air Defence Centre, Karachi. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was in attendance at the event.
Powered By ‘On The Fly’ Algo, China Says Its AI-Controlled Hypersonic Missiles Can Hit Targets With 10 Times More Accuracy
The latest defense collaboration between the ‘iron brothers’, Pakistan and China, may be seen as a fresh threat to India, whose military has long been strategizing to tackle two-front war challenges.
The Hóng Qí-9 (HQ-9), literally the ‘Red Banner-9’, is a Chinese medium- to long-range, active radar homing SAM system. The weapon uses an HT-233 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar system, which has a detection range of 120 km with a tracking range of 90 km.
The system has four different types of radar — Type 120 low-altitude acquisition radar, Type 305A 3D acquisition radar, Type 305B 3D acquisition radar, and H-200 mobile engagement radar. In terms of capability, HQ-9 can be compared with the Russian S-300 and American Patriot air defense systems.
The EurAsian Times had earlier speculated that HQ-9 missile battery could feature one 200 kW Diesel generator truck, and eight transporter erector launchers (TELs) each with 4 missiles, totaling 32 rounds ready to fire.
A variety of equipment can be added to the system to make larger, more capable formations. Among the equipment that can be added is one TWS-312 command post, one site survey vehicle based on the Dongfeng EQ2050, additional transporter/ loader vehicles with each vehicle housing four missile TELs based on Tai’an TAS5380, etc.
Big Breakthroughs: After Landing Taikonauts On ‘Space Station’, China Tests World’s ‘Largest Solid-Fuel Rocket Engine’
Various units of these highly mobile systems have finished conducting long-distance maneuvers and drills.
China has developed multiple variants of this SAM system. The Hǎi Hóng Qí-9, literally the ‘Sea Red Banner-9’, is HQ-9’s naval variant. It seems to be quite identical to the land-based version.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has deployed the HHQ-9 in its Type 052C Lanzhou-class destroyer in Vertical Launch System or VLS tubes.
An anti-radiation variant of the missile system has also been designed and developed by China. The export designation for the air defense version is Fang Dun-2000 (FD-2000), literally meaning defensive shield. Its is developed by China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC). It comes with anti-stealth capability.
Meanwhile, the HQ-9A version of the missile features advanced electronic equipment and software that provides it with increased accuracy and probability of kill. The HQ-9B has a longer range and is equipped with an extra seeker.
This new vertical launch, ground-to-air missile defense system has a target range of over 250 km and up to a height of 50km.
The naval variants of the missile are HHQ-9A and HHQ-9B. HQ-9C is currently under development. It is expected to be equipped with fully active radar homing.
Meet Pakistan’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft That Reportedly Detected Indian Navy Submarine Near Karachi
What's behind Pakistan's rumoured purchase of Chinese fighter jets?
While there is no official confirmation from Islamabad, Ejaz Haider, a Pakistani military analyst, also says that “the purchase has been made and the first batch will fly on 23rd March, which is Pakistan's Republic Day,” according to multiple reports.
The primary threat against Pakistan comes from India, resulting in wars and conflicts, says Haider, reminding us that the most recent escalation happened in Feb 2019 “when India aggressed against Pakistan.”
“India operates the French Rafale and the capability is boosted by the Russian S-400 A2-AD system. As a result, that threat has to be tackled not just in relation to intentions but also capabilities. Pakistan cannot afford to allow major asymmetries in relation to its adversary,” Haider tells TRT World, explaining why Pakistan is making the purchase.
In July, the Indian defence ministry announced its purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Interestingly, Pakistan will also procure 36 warplanes from China, suggesting it’s a direct retaliation against New Delhi’s move.
“Pakistan’s F-16 fighters are aging already and Pakistan’s own JF-17 Thunder is in the making. We actually needed to create a deterrent to face India’s purchase of Dassault Rafale,” Javed tells TRT World.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters Archive)
While Pakistanis cannot create a direct symmetry with the Indians considering the size of New Delhi’s military, Islamabad wants to ensure with the purchase of Chinese jets that it can compete in near-equal terms, according to Javed.
“The Pakistan air force is one of the top air forces in the world,” he says.
Haider agrees with that assessment.
“PAF is a professional air force which, despite constrained resources, has performed brilliantly against the Indian Air Force. The February conflict proved that once again. That said, even top-shelf human resource and training requires state-of-the-art platforms,” he says.
Why Chinese jets?
China is a close ally of Pakistan due to various clashing points between Beijing and New Delhi across South Asia as Asia’s two major powers compete with each other to secure their political and economic interests in the strategically vital region.
This equation means Pakistan and China share plenty of common ground on a number of issues, developing strategic ties and increasing military cooperation. But there are also other reasons for Pakistan’s purchase of Chinese jets.
“Pakistan Air Force needs a 4.5 generation multirole fighter. European fighters are very expensive and the US is not an option because of suspension of security assistance with Islamabad, despite Pakistan being nominally a Non-Nato Ally,” Haider says.
“Pakistan faces remarkable sanctions from the US despite its purchase of F-16s,” Javed says. As a result, like Turkiye, Pakistan has moved to create indigenous solutions to develop its military hardware in the face of US opposition, he says.
Even operating F-16s is problematic for Pakistan because Washington places restrictive conditions on their use, Javed says. There are also problems related to its repair process, he adds. China does not usually place conditions on the weapons it sells to other countries.
Pakistan’s interest in the J-10 spans over 10 years. The country was first interested in the FC-20 export variant of the single seat J-10A. This was part of the wider Armed Forces Development Plan 2015, derailed by a lack of funding by the 2008-2013 Pakistan Peoples Party administration.
Pakistan’s interest in the FC-20 was partially driven by a need to complement its F-16, when further acquisition of that program appeared unlikely.
Pakistan also reportedly examined acquiring the Russian Su-35 “Flanker-E,” potentially to help better cover naval operations in the Arabian Sea.
When speculation first arose of a Pakistani J-10C purchase in early 2021, it was linked with one of the Pakistan Air Force squadrons based in Karachi.
China’s naval air arm, the PLANAF, operates the earlier J-10AH and J-10SH Firebird variants from shore as multirole aircraft.
Though unconfirmed, Pakistan may operate its aircraft similarly. Pakistan’s Firebirds are believed to be the J-10CE export variant of the latest J-10C, featuring an AESA radar and long range PL-15 air-to-air missiles. Twenty-five aircraft could equip two squadrons of 12 aircraft.
Royal United Services Institute airspace analyst Justin Bronk said the J-10C will significantly boost Pakistan’s air power.
“The J-10C is a potent modern multirole light fighter, which represents a rough Chinese equivalent to a modern F-16 Block 60/70,″ he said.
However, he noted it’s not quite on a par with the Rafale.
“The AESA radar and access to the long-ranged PL-15 air-to-air missile make it a potentially serious long range threat to non-stealth aircraft, although it might still struggle as a counter to India’s Rafale at long ranges. The latter’s superior kinematic performance and access to the Meteor missile providing a decent counter to the PL-15″, Bronk said. “The J-10C is also unlikely to be able to match the Rafale for electronic warfare capabilities.”
India says it accidentally fired missile into Pakistan
India in a statement said a technical malfunction led to the missile being fired into neighbouring Pakistan.
“On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the Indian ministry of defence said in a statement on Friday.
“It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.”
The ministry said the government had “taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry” into the incident.
The statement came hours after Islamabad’s foreign ministry condemned what it called an “unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian origin ‘super-sonic flying object'”.
India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad had been summoned to the foreign office for a “strong protest”, it added.
The “imprudent launch” had damaged property on the ground and put at risk civilian lives and aircraft in Pakistani airspace, it said, accusing India of “callousness towards regional peace and stability”.
Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the neighbours, which have fought three wars and have engaged in numerous military clashes, most recently in 2019 which saw the air forces of the two engage in combat.
Both nations have nuclear weapons.
Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Babar Iftikhar said in a late evening news conference on Thursday that a “high-speed flying object” crashed near the eastern city of Mian Channu and originated from the northern Indian city of Sirsa, in Haryana state near New Delhi.
“The flight path of this object endangered many national and international passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human life and property of ground,” he said.
A Pakistan air force official said the object travelled at an altitude of 12,200 metres (40,000 feet), at Mach 3, and flew 124km (77 miles) in Pakistani airsp
News From India:
New Pakistani radars, including one being installed now, close to Balakot
Pakistan is strengthening its radar system. A TPS-77 multi role radar, that can spot not just fighters, but drones, and ballistic missiles is being installed at Cherat, about 200 from Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan has decided to place a dozen radars, in strategically significant locations, mostly in Punjab and also, in Sindh.
Three years after Balakot, the attack by the Indian Air Force on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp, Pakistan is strengthening its radar system. In February 2019, Indian fighters entered Pakistan airspace, flew all the way to Balakot, dropped its bombs on the terror camp and returned with the PAF nowhere in sight.
A TPS-77 multi role radar, that can spot not just fighters, but drones, and ballistic missiles is being installed at Cherat, about 200 from Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the strikes happened. Installing the Lockheed Martin radar at Cherat is part of a plan to fit these radars all over the country. Pakistan has decided to place a dozen other radars, in strategically significant locations, mostly in Punjab and also, in Sindh. some are already functional.
* Kamra, known for its Pakistan Air Force base in Punjab.
* Arifwala in Pakpattan, also in Punjab
* Malir, near Karachi, Pakistan's largest city in Sindh.
* Dera Nawab Khan in Punjab.
* Deosai near Skardu, in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, specifically in the Gilgit Baltistan area. Skardu, of course, is an important air base.
* Mangla, where an army corps HQ is located in the Jhelum district.
* Pasrur in the Sialkot district of Punjab. Sialkot, is also a big city.
* Chunian, near Kasur in Punjab.
* Bholari, where there is a Pakistan Air Force base. It is in Sindh, not far from Karachi.
* Pano Aqil in Sukkur, Punjab, where a cantonment is located.
* Badin, in Sindh and,
* Bhawalpur, where the Army's 31 Corps HQ is located.
Of the 13, eight have already been delivered and five more are due.
#US State Dept OKs Possible Sale of #F16 Fighter Jet Equipment Worth $450 Million to #Pakistan. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon said. #PAF https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-07/u-s-state-dept-oks-possible-sale-of-f-16-equipment-to-pakistan-pentagon?src=usn_tw
US approves $450 million F-16 fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan
Published on Sep 08, 2022 01:43 PM IST
A Congressional notification stated that Pakistan has requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements.
As a notification to the US Congress, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible foreign military sale of F-16 case for sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 450 million, arguing that this will sustain Islamabad's capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Wednesday.
First major security assistance to Pakistan after Trump ceased it in 2018
This is the first major security assistance to Pakistan after Trump in 2018 had announced to stop all defense and security assistance to Pakistan alleging that Islamabad was not a partner in its fight against terrorism.
In a notification to the US Congress, the US State Department has said it has approved a possible foreign military sale of F-16 for sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $ 450 million.
“Pakistan is an important counterterrorism partner, and as part of longstanding policy, the United States provides life cycle maintenance and sustainment packages for US-origin platforms,” said a State Department spokesperson.
“This will sustain Islamabad’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet as well as support American foreign policy and national security objectives by allowing interoperability in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations,” said the Pentagon’sDefense Security Cooperation Agency in a note.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan of F-16 Case for Sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Pakistan has requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements. Included are U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics services for follow-on support of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet to include:
Participation in F-16 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program
Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program
International Engine Management Program
Engine Component Improvement Program, and other technical coordination groups
Aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications and support
Aircraft and engine spare repair/return parts
Accessories and support equipment
Classified and unclassified software and software support
Publications, manuals, and technical documentation
Precision measurement, calibration, lab equipment, and technical support services
Studies and surveys
Other related elements of aircraft maintenance and program support.
The proposed sale does not include any new capabilities, weapons, or munitions.
The estimated total cost is $450 million.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with U.S. and partner forces in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations.
The proposed sale will continue the sustainment of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, which greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX. There are no known offsets proposed in conjunction with this sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Pakistan.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.
All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EurAsian Times reached out to experts to understand if the F-16’s maintenance and American support for this Pakistani aircraft could change the status quo.
According to IAF Veteran Squadron Leader (retd) Vijainder Thakur, “It is likely that the maintenance support package provided by the US will include upgrades that allow PAF F-16s to carry more advanced weapons and sensors. While I do not believe that the package would significantly alter the balance of power, it will most certainly allow the PAF to maintain its deterrence capability against the IAF.”
There has also been an overarching debate regarding F-16s vs. Rafales in the region. The acquisition of Rafales was seen in Pakistan as an attempt to challenge the F-16’s might and deter the PAF.
General (Air Commodore) Kizer Tufar (Kaiser Tufail), a Pakistani veteran (fighter pilot), had said, “IAF aircraft cannot be compared with the combination used by the Pakistani Air Force: F-16 and AIM-120 missiles. The Indian Air Force is aware of these restrictions, so they decided to place an order to buy the Rafale from France.”
Rafale fighter jet is a twin-engine, 4.5th generation fighter aircraft that can operate from ground bases and aircraft carriers. On the other hand, the US-based Lockheed Martin developed F-16, a fourth-generation, single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft. The two aircraft are almost similar regarding the dimension of length.
Given that they can carry more armaments than the F-16s, the Rafales would have an advantage in an encounter between the two. However, the F-16s have a slight advantage over the Rafales regarding striking power. Rafales only have a range of 3700 kilometers compared to the F-16s’ 4220 kilometers.
“The US has always relied on Pakistan due to its strategic location as it is the gateway to Afghanistan or the Middle East and Central Asian republics. Its importance as a launch pad can’t be reduced – which Pakistan also is equally aware of. And, in the US, a strong pro-Pakistan lobby benefits due to various deals and aid to Pakistan – they get paid – by corrupt Pakistani officials and Generals.
The present F-16 deal is also to be looked at from that angle. Overall it will not have much impact on IAF except for irritant value. Numerically and qualitatively, IAF is much better placed,” Air Vice Marshal Pranay Sinha (retd) told EurAsian Times.
The US decision comes when arms sales worldwide are booming owing to newer threat perceptions. Western officials have debated how to wean India off its dependence on Russian armament. However, India has refused to join the West in isolating Russia.
Some experts contend that the US decision is based on a business requirement. According to Group Captain Johnson Chacko, KC (retd), “Arms transactions worldwide are business oriented. Money matters. The US has supplied F-16s to Pakistan, so it is honor bound to maintain them.
In addition, the arms industry gets money while Pakistan holds the debt. We cannot reduce it to the F16 vs. Rafale debate, as the men behind the machines matter.
We demonstrated that against USAF in the first COPE India exercise held at Gwalior, where USAF F-15s were overwhelmed by what they felt was inferior Russian aircraft flown by IAF.”
It is pertinent to mention that the Indian Air Force has been undertaking a rapid modernization drive. It is dominated by Russian heavy-duty fighters like the Su-30MKI and MiG-29s, combat-hardened Mirage 2000s and Jaguars, and Light Aircraft like the Tejas, besides the cutting-edge Rafale fighters.
A Chinese J-10C. (via Twitter)
The Pakistan Air Force, on the other hand, is dominated by the F-16s, the brand-new J-10Cs, the JF-17, and Mirages, among others.
Before the J-10C fighters were transferred to Pakistan by China earlier this year, military analysts asserted that the purchase underlined the need to counter India’s Rafale aircraft and provide a strong deterrent against the Indian Air Force.
US's F-16 package to Pakistan "predicated on US interest associated with our defence partnership with Pak, wch is focused on counter terror or nuclear security as Sec. Austin made it clear to Min. Singh, it doesnt includes any upgrades", says US Asst Sec of Defense Dr. Ely Ratner
US has limited security partnership with Pakistan, says Pentagon official
Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
The Pentagon has said that it has a "limited security partnership" with Pakistan, key comments in the backdrop of the recent Washington announcement of a $450 million package for Islamabad to sustain its F16 fleet. The Biden government's decision, which was announced earlier this month reverses the decision of the previous Trump govt and helps Pakistan sustain its F16 programme.
Speaking to a selected group of reporters, US Asst Sec of Defense Dr Ely S Ratner explained that the US has been engaging with its Indian counterparts on the issue "both in advance of the announcement.." and "during the " mini 2+2 that happened earlier this month in Delhi.
Dr Ely Ratner, along with Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asian Affairs) were in Delhi for the India-U.S.A 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue with Indian diplomat Vani Rao. Rao is the Additional Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Ratner said, "It is important to be transparent as we could with Indian counterparts both in advance and during the decision and good opportunity for health exchange on both the US rationale for its limited security partnership with Pakistan and good opportunity to hear India's concern about that".
In the aftermath of the US announcement on F16, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Indian Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to each other in which the latter raised New Delhi's concerns. The package doesn't include any upgrades.
In response to the question, the Pentagon official also clarified that the package was not "designed as a message to India, as it relates to its relation to Russia."
He pointed out that the "decision inside US govt around F16 issue was made predicated on US interest associated with our defence partnership with Pakistan which is primarily focused on counter-terrorism and nuclear security". US comments come even as Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif is in New York.
India and US defence ties have increased in the past few years significantly. In 2016, the defence relationship was designated as a Major Defence Partnership (MDP). Several defence agreements have been signed in recent years. These include, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (August 2016); Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defense Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defense Excellence (2018); Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (September 2018); Industrial Security Agreement (December 2019); Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (October 2020).
Was China a factor in US$450 million US-Pakistan F-16 deal, or is it all about airspace access?
by Tom Hussain
A deal struck to maintain and upgrade Pakistan’s warplanes has prompted speculation the US military may have secured airspace access in return
Both sides share a common enemy in Afghanistan-based terror groups. But some analysts see China as part of the reason for the F-16 deal as well
For the first time since the United States cancelled military aid to Pakistan in 2018, Washington this month approved a US$450 million package to maintain and upgrade the South Asian nation’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets, hinting at a thaw in bilateral ties that had turned decidedly frosty of late.
The deal announced on September 9 followed a flurry of diplomatic activity, prompting speculation that in return for agreeing to keep Pakistan’s warplanes airborne for the next five years, the US military covertly secured access to the country’s airspace to carry out counterterrorism operations.
Though Islamabad has repeatedly denied any such conspiracy, the assassination in late July of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul is widely believed to have been carried out by a US drone that traversed Pakistani airspace en route to its target.
Was China a factor in US$450 million US-Pakistan F-16 deal, or is it all about airspace access?
A deal struck to maintain and upgrade Pakistan’s warplanes has prompted speculation the US military may have secured airspace access in return
Both sides share a common enemy in Afghanistan-based terror groups. But some analysts see China as part of the reason for the F-16 deal as well
In the first decade after 9/11, the United States agreed to sell Pakistan 18 advanced Block 52 F-16s for approximately $1.4 billion, as well as targeting pods and electronic warfare pods. It also sold mid-life upgrade kits for 53 of Pakistan’s older model F-16s, which made them essentially as capable as the Block 52 version of the aircraft. Turkey, which also flies the F-16, did the upgrades of Pakistan’s fighter aircraft.
The U.S. decision to deliver advanced versions of the F-16 as well as targeting and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan did not come without strings. And this is where the Pakistan model may hold the key to resolving the impasse over Turkey and the F-35. When it approved the sale of advanced F-16s to Pakistan and the upgrade of older models, the United States also insisted on an unprecedented level of oversight of the program. In order to protect the technology it was exporting, Washington required Islamabad to accept and pay for the deployment of a U.S. technical security team at the Shahbaz and Mushaf air force bases — the two locations where the advanced F-16s were to be deployed.
One of the authors of this article served in the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan at the time and was involved in this program, making several visits to Pakistani F-16 bases to ensure the required security upgrades were completed before the aircraft were deployed there. Each technical security team is made up of four to five U.S. Air Force personnel and some 30 contractors who keep a round-the-clock watch on Pakistan’s advanced F-16s. In total, Pakistan has around 85 F-16s, 66 of which are older Block 15 aircraft and 19 of which are the more modern Block 52. Most of the Block 15 aircraft have received the mid-life upgrade, meaning they are also subject to technical security team monitoring. The mission of the teams is to ensure that the Pakistan Air Force uses its F-16s as intended, does not modify them or the weapons they carry, and does not share the technology with unauthorized parties. In Pakistan’s case, the latter issue is especially salient, because the air force also flies the JF-17 fighter, which it jointly manufactures with China. On bases where advanced F-16s are present, the United States requires that Pakistan separate them from other aircraft and strictly limit access to the area where they are located.
Despite its behavior in other areas, Pakistan has been a steady partner in its F-16 program. The Pakistan Air Force uses its F-16s extensively to attack militants in its tribal areas and shares cockpit footage of these operations with the United States (which one of the authors was able to view while stationed in Pakistan). The presence of technical security teams allows the United States to monitor how Pakistan uses these jets, since their weapons load is configured differently for air-to-ground and air-to-air operations. Of course, in a national emergency, even continuous monitoring can’t prevent the Pakistan Air Force from using its F-16s in ways the United States doesn’t like. For example, in February 2019 India claimed a Pakistani F-16 shot down one of its jets in a skirmish over the border between the two. Pakistan denies this, claiming a Pakistan Air Force JF-17 downed the Indian plane. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern about the incident, but did not directly accuse Pakistan of using its F-16s against India. Instead, it admonished Islamabad for moving some of its F-16s to bases not approved by the United States, indicating that both sides would prefer to let the issue rest. This incident highlights a limitation on all U.S. oversight of military equipment it sells to foreign partners, not just Pakistan. When national survival appears to be at stake, U.S. partners will not be deterred by admonitions to use weapons only for certain missions or against certain threats. This needs to be considered early in the process, before an export license is issued.
"You're Not Fooling Anybody...": S Jaishankar On US' F-16 Deal With Pak
"It's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests," S Jaishankar said at an event in Washington
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has raised questions over the "merits" of the US-Pakistan relationship and said that Washington's ties with Islamabad have not served the "American interest".
"It's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests," Mr Jaishankar said at an event organised by the Indian American community in Washington on Sunday.
The remarks were made when the Indian minister was questioned by the audience on US action on F-16 fighter jets with Pakistan. Just weeks ago, for the first time since 2018, the US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Pakistan for the sustainability of the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet and equipment at the cost of USD 450 million.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh promptly conveyed to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin India's concerns over Washington's decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan's F-16 fleet.
"It's really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it," Mr Jaishankar asserted.
"For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things," Mr Jaishankar noted.
"If I were to speak to an American policy-maker, I would really make the case (that) look what you are doing," he asserted.
Mr Jaishankar on Saturday concluded the high-level United Nations General Assembly debate in New York and is scheduled to spend the next three days in Washington.
The minister is scheduled to meet with his American counterpart, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and other top officials of the Biden administration.
“This proposed sale ($450 million F-16 package) will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with US and partner forces in ongoing counter-terrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations,” says the DSCA.
The US government has approved a $450 million sustainment package for Lockheed Martin F-16s operated by the Pakistan air force.
The proposed package lists several items, including the F-16’s structural integrity programme, the international engine management programme, spare parts, and other services and equipment related to the type, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan to retain interoperability with US and partner forces in ongoing counter-terrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations,” says the DSCA.
“The proposed sale will continue the sustainment of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, which greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counter-terrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”
The package does not, however, include new capabilities, weapons, or munitions.
The lack of capability improvements could reflect Washington DC’s increasingly warm ties with Pakistan’s archrival India.
Moreover, Pakistan has become closer to Beijing in recent decades, including the joint development of the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17. Pakistan is also the first international operator of the Chengdu J-10C, which in Chinese service performs similar missions to the F-16.
Cirium fleets data indicates that Pakistan operates 57 F-16A/Bs and 18 F-16C/Ds, with an average age of 30.8 years.
The US state department spokesman Ned Price has put External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on the mat as regards the latter’s remarks questioning the raison d’etre of the US-Pakistan relationship.
By M.K. Bhadrakumar
Yet, some national dailies have rushed to eagerly attribute it to the US displeasure over India’s stance on the conflict in Ukraine. One daily rather churlishly advised the government, “As Delhi demonstrates “strategic autonomy” to engage with every side — Quad one week, and Russia and China the next at the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand — and work around Western sanctions to buy oil from Russia, and keep friends in all camps, it may have to come to terms that others in world play the same game.”
In this unseemly hurry to link Ned’s remarks with India’s strategic autonomy, what these commentators overlook is that the US spokesman was speaking on a special day when the Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto was visiting the state department at the invitation of the Secretary of State Antony Blinken — and on top of it, the two countries were commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Indeed, it is another matter that Jaishankar’s remarks were not only unwarranted — casting aspersions on the US-Pakistan relationship — but untimely, and perhaps, even provocative. The only charitable explanation could be that Jaishankar was grandstanding as a consummate politician before an audience of Indian-Americans, with an eye on his “core constituency” in India. The mitigating factor, of course, is that he has only given back to the Americans in their own coin, who consider it their prerogative to butt into other countries’ external relations with gratuitous comments — India’s with Russia, for instance.
Ned Price’s remarks have all the elements of a policy statement. He said: “We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and … our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each. We look at both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own. We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbours have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. And so that’s another point of emphasis.”
What stands out at the most obvious level is that Price reiterated the US policy in the recent decades since the Cold War ended to “de-hyphenate” Washington’s relationships with India and Pakistan while also promoting a normal relationship between the two South Asian rivals who are not on talking terms. Price pointed out that the two relationships have “different points of emphasis in each.”
Interestingly, Price equated India with Pakistan as partner countries with which the US has “in many cases shared values” and “in many cases shared interests.” This needs to be understood properly. Washington has taken note of Pakistan’s objection over the prioritisation of India in the US’ regional policies in South Asia in the past.
This shift removes a major hurdle in the trajectory of US-Pakistan relationship and is necessitated by a variety of factors following the humiliating defeat that the US suffered in Afghanistan. Here, security considerations certainly constitute one key factor.
The killing of the al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri was only possible due to the help from Pakistan. Equally, Afghan situation remains dangerous and the US cannot turn its back on what’s happening out there. The US’ dependence on Pakistani intelligence has only increased.
Pakistan Displays India’s MiG-21 Bison’s Tail Shot Down By PAF F-16 Fighter Jet At Its Defense Expo — Reports
November 17, 2022
The tail section of a MiG-21 of the Indian Air Force is on display at IDEAS-22 that was shot down on February 27, 2019, during Operation Swift Retort, by a Pakistani F-16. New Delhi and Islamabad made different statements about the event’s occurrence at the time.
Meanwhile, the J-17C’s informative photos, one of which also shows the cockpit, are being presented at the event. A video module of the aircraft is also showcased at PAF Pavilion during IDEAS 2022.
Pakistan’s JF-17C, also known as Block 3, is the latest version of the J-17 aircraft. The Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) collaborated to develop the medium-sized multi-role JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force.
The service has received more than 100 Thunder jets since 2007.
The JF-17 C model is thought to have taken to the skies for the first time in December 2019. The PL-10E, which China describes as its most advanced air-to-air missile, was also spotted being carried by the JF-17 Block 3 in 2021.
The JF-17C has notable upgraded capabilities, such as Missile Approach Warning Systems (MAWS), Wide Angle Smart HUD, more Chin Hardpoints, and an integrated EW suite.
Another photograph that has gained popularity on the internet is thought to be the finest image of a PAF JF-17C – dubbed Block 3 – so far.
The DEPO organizes IDEAS every two years. Since its beginning in 2000, IDEAS has established itself as a worldwide staging ground for defense manufacturers, business owners, R&D professionals, finance experts, and top-level officials.
However, in terms of space, reservations, exhibitors, and delegates from domestic and international countries, this year’s event has reportedly eclipsed all records.
The defense expo was inaugurated by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at the city’s expo center in Karachi. IDEAS 2022 officially started on November 15 and will last through November 18.
In his remarks at the occasion, FM Bhutto-Zardari discussed the current coalition government’s difficulties while noting that it succeeded despite the economic downturn. About 300 exhibitors are showing off their latest products from 32 nations.
This exhibition is attended by about 500 national and international delegates, including high-level delegations from friendly nations.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that the nation’s defense industry is meeting the demands of the technological era, and he emphasized that IDEAS had grown into a significant platform in the global defense market.
He stated that this year’s event’s ‘Arms for Peace’ theme represented Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability. Sharif added that IDEAS had developed into a platform that showcased Pakistan’s expanding impact in the global defense market.
“Good to see that our defense sector is catering to demands of the tech era,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Air Force is presenting its aerospace, avionics, cyberspace, and other related technologies at its pavilion. The National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP) is the PAF pavilion’s biggest attraction.
It is a Pakistan Air Force project to promote industry-academia linkage to provide an ecosystem of critical elements required to nurture design, research, development, and innovation in the aviation, space, and cyber sectors.
Speaking at the event, the Air Chief stated that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is dedicated to creating advanced technologies in the nation to deliver the most cutting-edge, efficient, and impenetrable aerial defense.
#India, #Pakistan came close to a #nuclear war, claims ex US Sec of State Mike Pompeo. His Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj called, told him that Pakistan was preparing for a nuclear attack after #Balakot strike in February 2019 & India ready to retaliate
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that he was “awakened” to speak to his then Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj who told him that Pakistan was preparing for a nuclear attack after the Balakot surgical strike in February 2019 and India is preparing its own escalatory response.
In his latest book Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love that hit the stores on Tuesday, Mr. Pompeo says the incident took place when he was in Hanoi for the U.S.-North Korea Summit on February 27-28 and his team worked overnight with both New Delhi and Islamabad to avert this crisis.
Sushma Swaraj "Wasn't Important Player": 5 Top Quotes From Mike Pompeo Book
Mike Pompeo's "Never Give an Inch," his memoir of his time as Donald Trump's top diplomat and earlier CIA chief, was published on Tuesday.
Former US President Donald Trump's top diplomat Mike Pompeo, in his just-published memoir, has claimed that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention prevented escalation.
Here are the top five points Mike Pompeo made his new book:
Mr Pompeo claimed he was awakened some time in 2019 to speak to his then Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj who told him that Pakistan was preparing for a nuclear attack in the wake of the Balakot surgical strike and India is preparing its own response.
"I do not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019. The truth is, I don't know precisely the answer either; I just know it was too close," Mr Pompeo wrote.
The former US official said he spoke to Ms Swaraj who "believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, he (sic) informed me, was contemplating its own escalation". "I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out... No other nation could have done what we did that night to avoid a horrible outcome," he wrote.
Mr Pompeo said Pakistan "probably enabled" the attack on security forces in Pulwama, which triggered the Balakot strike, said he spoke to "the actual leader of Pakistan," then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in an allusion to the weakness of civilian governments.
In comments critical of Sushma Swaraj, Mr Pompeo wrote, "On the Indian side, my original counterpart was not an important player on the Indian foreign policy team. Instead, I worked much more closely with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, a close and trusted confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
Pakistanis will never give in to a bully like India.
Pakistan will respond with "Operation Swift Retort" if Modi and his fellow Islamophobes are foolish enough to attack Pakistan again.
Listen to your Indian Professor Ashok Swain who tweeted this today:
Never let a regime fool you in the name of nationalism - If you do it once, you have to keep doing it. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-kashmir-pakistan-airstrike-insi-idUSKCN1QN00V
Satellite images show buildings still standing at Indian bombing site
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who has 15 years’ experience in analyzing satellite images of weapons sites and systems, confirmed that the high-resolution satellite picture showed the structures in question.
“The high-resolution images don’t show any evidence of bomb damage,” he said. Lewis viewed three other high-resolution Planet Labs pictures of the site taken within hours of the image provided to Reuters.
The Indian government has not publicly disclosed what weapons were used in the strike.
Government sources told Reuters last week that 12 Mirage 2000 jets carrying 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) bombs carried out the attack. On Tuesday, a defense official said the aircraft used the 2,000-lb Israeli-made SPICE 2000 glide bomb in the strike.
A warhead of that size is meant to destroy hardened targets such as concrete shelters.
Lewis and Dave Schmerler, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation studies who also analyses satellite images, said weapons that large would have caused obvious damage to the structures visible in the picture.
Replying to @DevanaUkrainemeaning no disrespect, but … the f-16 has zero air-to-air kills when piloted by the US, unless you count no-fly-zone enforcements (7 kills). UA might want some Israeli pilots (over 50), or Pakistan, the only air force that’s shot down multiple Russian fighters since ww2 (10!).
The combat statistics for all the aircraft currently in use
We’ve lately been talking about aircraft which have gone for combat several times. Now we’ve been thinking of some statistics of various fighter aircraft in use. Below you can find the details – but first of all we would like to show you an overview, created by Wojtek Korsak, based on this article. Thanks for that Wojtek. Click enlarge. If it is still to small: Press and hold Ctrl and scroll up with your mouse.
The Format is:
[Name of aircraft] Air-to-air kills – Air-to-air losses – Losses to ground fire
[Name of conflict aircraft was used in]
[Nation that used aircraft in said conflict]
Air-to-air kills – Air-to-air losses – Losses to ground fire
Aircraft which were destroyed on the ground are not included in this analysis, because any plane can get destroyed on the ground no matter how good it or its pilot is.
F-16 Falcon 76-1-5
Gulf War (USA) 0-0-3
No-Fly Zones (USA) 2-0-0
Bosnia (USA) 4-0-1
Kosovo (USA) 1-0-1
Kosovo (Netherlands) 1-0-0
Kosovo (Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey) 0-0-0
Afghanistan (USA, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway) 0-0-0
Iraq (USA) 0-0-0
Syrian border clashes 1979-1986 (Israel) 6-0-0
Operation Opera (Israel) 0-0-0
Lebanon War (1982) (Israel) 44-0-0
Lebanon War (2006) (Israel) 3-0-0
Intifada (2000-present) (Israel) 0-0-0
Soviet-Afghan War (Pakistan) 10-0-0
Border clashes (Pakistan) 1-0-0
Kargil War (Pakistan) 0-0-0
Northwest border wars (Pakistan) 0-0-0
Aegean Sea clashes (Turkey) 1-1-0
Venezuelan Coup 1992 (Venezuela) 3-0-0
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