Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman (Retd), the father of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, has said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camp have killed around 300 terrorists.
Talking to the Defense Studies students in IIT Madras, the father of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman (Retd), said that 250 to 300 terrorists had actually been killed in this attack because Indian fighter jets attacked with laser guided spice-200 bombs. These bombs cause lots of damage. Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman (Retd), himself is a pilot and retired from the post of Air Marshal.
“The Indian Air Force strike happened when the maximum target were inside the camp. The structural damage might be limited, but the fuse of the bomb is delayed to ensure maximum casualties,” he was quoted as saying by Times of India.
The Air Marshal further said that according to his reading of the events, the IAF used deception to ensure that the strike could be carried out successfully without the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) getting an inkling of it.
He said that real threat to IAF was Pakistan’s F-16s and AMRAAM missiles.
“We had to first get F-16s off our back by making sure they were headed to some other direction,” the air force veteran said.
He said that India sent its seven fighter jets to Bahawalpur. With this, Pakistani Air Force thought that India is going to attack the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Bahawalpur So Pakistan sent its F-16 jet to the Indian fighter jets to follow. At the same time the aircraft prepared to attack Balakot flew and targeted the terrorists there. He told that Pakistan knew that after the Pulwama attack India would definitely do something. But Pakistan did not think of such a strict action.
The Balakot operation was the first operation after 1971, in which IAF aircraft had crossed the border and attack the terror camp.