Night Strike on Pakistan Airbases by Indian Fighters

36 × 24 inches

It was for the first time in war that fighters were used to carry out attacks on airfield by night at low level. These audacious missions were planned and executed by an IAF unit called the Tactical and Combat Development Training Squadron (TCDTS). This was a unit formed by IAF just before the war with few crack combat pilots to develop tactics and train pilots with above the average capabilities. The attacks by night was carried out by MiG-21 and Sukhoi-7 aircraft that did not have any specialized navigation equipment to go deep into the enemy territory at night and neither did they have specialized weapons like deep penetration bombs to deliver at low level. As formation flying by night is not possible, every strike sortie has to be of single aircraft. The maximum load each aircraft could deliver was 2×500 kg GP bombs for which the aircraft had to pull up to a height of approximately 3 Kms and deliver the bombs in a steep dive. Any error would have made bombing inaccurate and also faulty judgment by pilots would have resulted in fatal consequences. But the gamble worked and attacks carried out all night at random intervals were able to tie up a significant element of the PAF Air Defences thus making it easier for other aircraft like Canberras and AN-12 to inflict severe damage to Pakistani strategic assets.


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