Wednesday 18 May 2022, 09:35 PM
Role drones played in Balakot attack
By BDK Bureau | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/27/2019 6:48:26 PM
Role drones played in Balakot attack

When the Indian Air Force (IAF) was planning and carrying out the air strikes at Balakot in Pakistan, high-end technology played a major role in tracking Pakistani activities and also directing IAF planes in the right direction and towards the targets.

India used a mix of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) and Manned surveillance planes when a combat group of Mirage 2000 fighter jets flew in and carried out air strikes on Jaish-E-Mohammad terror camps by dropping a series of guided ‘spice’ bombs on Balakot on February 26.
All the while the Netra, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System Aircraft (AEW&C) and Israeli drones, the Heron, played a key role during the pre-dawn air strike carried out by the IAF. Both are like ‘Eyes in the Sky’ – to monitor the movement of Pakistan Air Force jets and anti-aircraft radars installed in Pakistan.
What are these two platforms: The Heron made by Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) is a  medium-altitude long-endurance UAV. It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 10.5 km (35,000 ft). The Heron navigates using an internal GPS navigation device, and either a pre-programmed flight profile (in which case the system is fully autonomous from takeoff to landing). It can autonomously return to base and land in case of lost communication with the ground station. The system has fully automatic launch and recovery (ALR) and all-weather capabilities.
The AEW&C is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It is a multi-sensor based on a carrier jet to provide airborne surveillance system. This is the first indigenous airborne early warning system developed by DRDO. It was completely developed and built using the Indian technology platform that based on Brazilian Embraer jet. The Mission system control (MSC) is the brain of the AEW&C system, as it incorporates all the data from sensors and other systems to control the whole system. It assesses threats using data received from the on-board sensors and other sources, and presents the Air Situation Picture (ASP).
How they operated: The Heron with its high resolution night capable camera that can provide images and videos beamed live pictures  in the control room provide pin-point accuracy of moving Pakistani assets in air and also the ground troops.The Netra, the home-made eye in the sky, Netra, was the operational brain that guided the Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000-5 IN hours before dawn as they flew towards Balakot, 80 km from the Line of Control, and bombed a camp of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Netra,was flying well inside Indian airspace while it was providing surveillance and radar coverage for the Balakot strikes. It can track targets 450-500 km deep into enemy territory without crossing the Line of Control. When airborne, it has an almost 120-degree view of enemy territory.The Netra can detect radar signals, and eavesdrop on and listen to all communications that takes place among Pakistan's armed forces. 
It does not carry any active cameras but all the electronic intelligence it gathers can be beamed back live to commanders on the ground. The national security establishment can also monitor the operations live in New Delhi, using data sent from the Netra.  The Netra can fly for five hours at a stretch, but with air-to-air refuelling, it can fly for nine hours.Five flight controllers can directly communicate with ground controllers and airborne pilots as they fly towards the target. 
Ground controllers can listen into what the Netra is watching using a data link. The aircraft can also be patched with satellite-based platforms. Recently, the Indian Air Force got its dedicated satellite called GSAT-7A made by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Using satellite-based communication system, the reach of the Netra becomes very large.The five flight controllers on the EJ-145 Embraer directed the Mirage 2000s to their target, right up to the point of the weapon release, and guided them back.




भारत डिफेंस कवच की नई हिन्दी पत्रिका ‘डिफेंस मॉनिटर’ का ताजा अंक ऊपर दर्शाया गया है। इसके पहले दस पन्ने आप मुफ्त देख सकते हैं। पूरी पत्रिका पढ़ने के लिए कुछ राशि का भुगतान करना होता है। पुराने अंक आप पूरी तरह फ्री पढ़ सकते हैं। पत्रिका के अंकों पर क्लिक करें और देखें। -संपादक

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