It took Indian Army’s 150 commandos, 90 minutes, and India’s home-grown Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv to carry out ‘surgical strikes’ inside the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on terrorist hideouts.
India’s home-grown Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv pinterest
This was the first time that Dhruv has been used in an offensive operation.
According to India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, the strikes inflicted significant casualties and heavy damages on terror camps operating inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Reports suggest that nearly 40-50 terrorists were killed in the operation.
On September 28, Dhruv ferried a total of 150 commandos (divided into at least five teams) out of detection range of Pak troops. The location of the strike was 500 meter-3 km across the LoC. In total, seven terror launch pads were targeted across the LoC.
The whole situation was monitored with live feed from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and satellite cover. The strikes were carried out in Bhimber and Hot Springs in the Poonch-Rajouri sector, Leepa opposite Baramulla and Kel that faces the Kupwara sector.
The government decided that a strike would be carried out only if it detected plans to infiltrate militants across these four sectors. The Research and Analysis Wing chief and his key officer in charge of Pakistan were asked to gather intelligence from the ground, while the technical intelligence agency, the National Technical Research Organisation, was asked to monitor satellite imagery to detect any movement of the sort associated with infiltration bids.
A picture of HAL Dhruv commencing commando operation at high altitudes in J&K defenceforumindia
In the capital, the operation was being monitored by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, DGMO Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh.
Already Dhruv has already proved its mettle in the Siachen Glacier. Dhruv demonstrated its superiority over the military’s tiny, single-engine Cheetah helicopters, at the Indian Army’s infamous Sonam Post. Indian Army urgently wants the Dhruv, which has been customised by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for high altitude operations.
According to Group Captain Unni Nair, HAL’s chief helicopter test pilot, Dhruv is designed to perform various roles like policing, urban surveillance, medical ambulance etc.
The three-tonne helicopter for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force will replace the fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The Mark-3 is the latest version of the original Dhruv helicopter and comes equipped with Shakti engines, new electronic warfare (EW) suite and warning systems, automatic chaff and flare dispensers and improved vibration control system. The Indian armed forces are in dire need of light choppers. Currently, over 200 helicopters are required.