Enemy most vulnerable at predawn: Experts

The US' elite Blue Seals carried out their attack on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in a predawn strike.

Hyderabad: There is a strategic reason behind the IAF carrying out aerial strikes in the period past midnight and before dawn. The time is suitable to attack for technical and other reasons, say experts. That was the reason the surgical strikes in 2016 were conducted at this time too.

Wing Commander Thummalura Janardhan Reddy (retired), president of the Air Force Retired Officers Association explained, “The coolest temperature is registered an hour or half before the break of dawn. It is during this time that the radar installed in the aircraft finds the maximum round ground clutter. During predawn, the radar rays collect more clutter on the ground and the aircraft gets submerged into the clutter, resulting in better view.

He said striking 30 minutes before dawn is considered effective for psychological reasons, too, as people on the night shift will be handing over duty to the next shift and they are caught by surprise if struck. The enemy’s schedule is studied before they are attacked. Air Commodore Udoy Narayan Ganguly (retired) said, “When the Russians first attacked Afghanistan, they did it between 12 and 1 pm because the Russians learnt that the Afghans regardless of war or peace leave their work to sit down for a meal with family. They took advantage and launched an attack. The time can be chosen after studying the enemy’s schedule/habits. This apart, predawn is the most vulnerable period; it is the time when a human’s sign curve (measure of activity) is at the lowest. One is at the lowest point of alertness and this makes one vulnerable.”

Retd Air Commodore Ganguly, who flew Mirage jets (used by the IAF in the strike on terrorist camps in Balakot) said that before the enemy comes the hostile terrain of the valley and the climatic conditions that make the task of the strike force extremely difficult.

“It needs years of intense training to fly by night. It is the worst to fly in the darkness of the night because in case of an accident or calamity, the aircraft can be reduced to debris. Factors like sense of losing balance are always a threat. It is extremely difficult to fly or navigate and deliver weapons and come back is a huge achievement for the IAF pilots.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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