While the army jawans fought Pakistani troops on the icy heights of Drass and Kargil, the India Air Force was called in for its "most difficult operation ever", carrying out precision strikes while ensuring that they don't breach the Line of Control.
"The fighter planes changed the course of the battle and use of precision weapons destroyed the enemy fortification," recalled Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Jammu and Kashmir, Air Marshal J Chauhan about the war 10 years ago.
After an armed chopper was shot down, "we inducted fighter planes including Jaguar and Mirage-2000 and used precision weapons. We analysed the results and they were very positive. This helped us and the troops to go ahead and recapture the positions," he told PTI.
Various aircraft such a MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, Jaguar, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Canberra, AVRO and Mi-17 were utilised as part of 'Operation Safed Sagar' launched by the Indian Air Force in support of Operation Vijay launched by the Indian Army.
It was for the first time that the IAF was called upon to undertake these missions at such high altitudes. The officer said they never expected that IAF would be required to asisst in the operation. "But we geared up on a short notice."
The biggest challenge for IAF was Manthaldalo in Drass sector. "We had to improvise a lot and work out various plans for perfect targets," he said adding, "At the same time we had to ensure that we don't cross the LoC.