Lessons learnt after 27th Feb Pakistan aggression?

Question: What changes IAF has made after 27 Feb incident? Are our Sukhoi’s and Mig’s having new A2A missiles or the deliveries are still pending? If similar situation comes again, will Bisons still be scrambled or there is a change?~ Vibhour Sharma

After the aggression shown by PAF on 27th Feb , IAF reviewed its own operations in Balakote, followed by reviewing the force levels across the airspace above LoC and also reviewing its own safety and Search and Rescue capabilities post that day.

And as of today, after those reviews some fundamental changes have been made.

First and foremost are the revision of Rules of Engagement over airspace above LoC and adjoining regions. There have been changes in SoPs for combat and Search and Rescue units both on how to act in similar situations.

Much of the changes in Rules of Engagement is unpublished today, and we can only estimate few things, like no more holding back!

Coming back to the capability of assets. Software Defined Radios are being procured for our aircraft fleet. Being jamming resistant, it will ensure secure communication between the pilots, ground air defence units and the IAF air traffic controllers in any eventuality. As loss or inability to communicate with the Mig21 pilot and lack of communication between the Mi17 helicopter and other units, were the two losses sustained!

Coming back to Su30MKI, Mig29UPG and Mirage 2000 I , all three are perfectly capable aircrafts with capable weapon systems. Post the change in rules of engagement, Su30MKI can very well take multiple F16s BLK52 at once and nullyfy them. The missiles are perfectly capable and it was falsehood spread back then that deficiencies were there. But rest assured even further improvements are going to be implemented very soon.

Coming to Mig21 at last, the Mig21 fleet will continue to serve in front line duty till it’s out of service period in 2025. It is perfectly capable to take on the best aircraft present in PAFs inventory. Most of the mistakes were due to outdated Rules of Engagement, whoes loopholes the Pakistanis used.


  • Ankit Kumar

    An independent analyst with engineering background. Besides covering military affairs, he is also interested in space, airlines, infrastructure, nuclear, energy and related issues.

2 thoughts on “Lessons learnt after 27th Feb Pakistan aggression?

  1. I am appalled seeing the continued love affair with MIG-21. The right use of these plane is to convert them to Kamakazi Drones or Practice drones.

    PAF F-16 are still very agile and so are JF17 . Pakistan has greater access to Qatar Air Forces Rafael which gives them hands on experience on India’s super fighter as well.

    India must bring in Israel & US critical technologies on Tejas thus making them much agile, efficient, cohesive, stealth & lethal. This will be the only platform that will keep PAF wondering on what all Tejas can do.

    PAF knows MIG-21 in and out. They have data of this craft from various sources. The people with decision pen in defense, finance & PMO should not balance the huge inventory of MIG-21 with ₹₹, rather they should here the IAF recommendations and implement them wholeheartedly.

    And lastly, India need to remove its dependency on lackluster HAL. HAL is way too over burdened. HAL & India will be heavily complimented by setting up atleast 2 companies manufacturing high advance aircrafts.

    1. Mig21 is a technically sound design and in its present form in IAF, yes it is old but it’s not technologically outdated. And no PAF doesn’t have access to how or what the IAF Mig21 , Flanker or Rafale may do or may not.

      Mig21 is a perfectly capable aircraft in its present form in IAF and is capable to take on and defeat the best PAF can offer. There is nothing like a love affair, it’s just that the aircraft is capable, has got 4 to 5 years of service life left and will succesfully complete those.

      Coming onto PAF F16s, our Mig21s fly between 150-200 hours a year. That’s thrice of what PAF does in its newest F16s. There F16s didn’t get engines during their MLU and had no life extension as well, even though the airframe got one, meaning they don’t have much life on their F16s to squander actually. Their F7PGs have more life in airframes than 70% of PAFs F16 fleet.

      The for is formidable, but do not blow it’s capabilities out of proportions. The Mig21 Bisons radar is still more capable than the JF17 blk 1 radars in air to air mode. That should tell you something.

      Yes there have been mishaps, but not because the aircraft is technologically outdated or is having a design problem.

      India is trying to diversify it’s defence manufacturing capabilities and at the moment we can only pray that the effort doesn’t lose steam.

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