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What makes Mirage 2000 jet with laser-guided bombs a dangerous foe

Mirage 2000 that dropped laser-guided bombs at terror camps deep across the Line of Control was upgraded in 2015.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2019 17:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Air Force fighter jet Mirage 2000 was upgraded in 2015 enhancing its striking capability using laser-guided targeting system.
Indian Air Force fighter jet Mirage 2000 was upgraded in 2015 enhancing its striking capability using laser-guided targeting system.(PTI)
         

The Indian Air Force carried out strikes at terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed deep across the Line of Control on Tuesday causing massive damage to the terror infrastructure in the target areas. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed the strikes by the IAF following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in New Delhi.

The IAF used laser-guided bombs weighing 1,000 pounds that were fitted in the Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the force. Mirage 2000 entered into the service of the IAF in 1985, more as a reaction to Pakistan acquiring F-16 from the US.

Mirage 2000 was then manufactured by the Dassault Aviation of France. It is the same company that manufactures Rafale fighter jets. Under the licence from Dassault Aviation, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) manufactured later versions of Mirage 2000 for the IAF.

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The pact for technical assistance to HAL was signed during 2011-12 following which Mirage 2000 jets were upgraded in 2015 giving it more precision in hitting the targets during operation.

The upgraded Mirage 2000 is far more superior over the original version. A complete system overhaul was carried out using laser-mapping techniques to give the fighter jet the capability for more accurate attack on the targets. The new Mirage 2000 systems allow automatic tracking of targets, hitting targets with precision in very long-range engagement and also engage moving targets.

In the upgraded Mirage 2000, pilots can see inside their helmets superimposed data about the specifics of their targets. The pilots can manoeuvre the weapons by pointing their heads towards the target as displayed inside their helmets. The laser-guided bombs are thus directed at the targets with almost pin-point accuracy.

Also Read | IAF air strikes across LoC: IAF jets blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed’s main terror camp in ‘non-military strike’

Mirage 2000 early this morning dropped 1,000 pound laser-guided bombs at terror camp deep across the LoC. India said the IAF operation was successful and carried out in a manner to avoid civilian casualties. A total of six bombs were dropped on Pakistan-based terrorist camps by the IAF Mirage 2000s, reported news agency ANI quoting unnamed government sources.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said, “The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualty. It’s located in deep forest on a hilltop.” The camp was located at about 195 km from Islamabad and over 40 km from Muzaffarabad.

The area is densely forested and the terror camp hit by the IAF’s Mirage 2000 was located on a hill top. Accurate military precision was required to engage a target in such a rugged terrain. The reports suggest no damage to IAF team that carried out the operation indicating that new Mirage 2000s equipped with latest laser-guiding technology matched the challenged posed by the geographical setting.

Gokhale said, in his media interaction, that the IAF operation was carried out in the view of intelligence inputs that Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was planning more terror attacks in India. Jaish had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack killing at least 40 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

The foreign secretary defended crossing of LoC by the IAF saying Pakistan has take “no concrete steps” against Jaish-e-Mohammed in the past several years despite the group carrying out terror activities from its soil. He also referred to 2004-understanding between India and Pakistan. Islamabad had then committed that it would not allow territories under its control to be used for terror activities against India.

First Published: Feb 26, 2019 13:33 IST

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