New Delhi:  India’s attack at terror facility inside Pakistan’s Balakot was not just an effort of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Equal credit goes to intelligence agencies and other armed forces for gathering solid inputs on terror centres and backing fighter jets to carry out the strike.

According to sources, around 200 hours of planning was done after intelligence was gathered about attempts of another suicide terror strike by terrorists trained at Jaish Balakot facility at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This is the same site where the planning of Pulwama attack was done and the mastermind Ghazi was trained. Around 40 CRPF men lost their lives in a suicide bomber attack in Pulwama on February 14.

Under the supervision of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, a rehearsal or a mock drill was conducted over Central India on February 24.  Since then, all the three armed forces were on high alert.

According to sources, the strike was planned two days after Pulwama attack when forces, through their deep assets in Pakistan, managed to gather specific inputs about the hilltop training centre, where 250 terrorists are trained at a time. Intelligence also warned that Jaish was planning another suicide terror attack.

The NSA and the IAF Chief remained awake throughout the night and into the next day as they were monitoring the entire movement of Mirage fighter aircraft which had to go inside Pakistan along with the Sukhoi 30s operating from Halwara and Bareilly air bases sitting inside the Air Force war room inside the Air Headquarters.

As soon 12 Mirage-2000 aircraft took off from their respective locations in Agra and Gwalior, another set of Sukhoi fighter jets were made to fly to give support to Mirage and to make sure there was no damage on the Indian side.

Taking no chance, IAF had also deployed AWAC (Advanced warning and control system) aircraft led by the indigenous Netra jets which played a significant role as their radars were constantly monitoring activities inside the Pakistan air space.

Mid-air-fuel tankers Ilyushin 78s were also in the air to provide support services to Indian fighter jets on their mission.

After the planes returned from Pakistan, the Indian air defence systems were on high alert and scanning Pakistani aircraft for any reaction.

India also used Israel made SPYDER Missile defence system which fired a well-aimed ‘Derby’ missile and brought down Pakistani drone which was sent by Pakistani army from the western sector in Gujarat.

The Navy had also halted its exercise TROPEX on the western seaboard and sent its warships on forwarding patrol in posturing towards Pakistan Navy, thereby further confusing the chain of command in the Pakistani establishment.

While all these operations were on, the army was busy giving a befitting reply to Pakistan artillery across the border. Army resorted to heavy shelling to keep Pakistan army distracted so that IAF fighter jets could successfully complete their mission.