Precision Guided Munition (PGM): Indian success storyWay back in 1933, Winston Churchill had said: "… not to have adequate air force in the present state of the world is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence." At that time, the concept of aerial bombing in the enemy territory where it was difficult for the army to reach, was a revolutionary military concept. With the passage of time and advancement of military technology, both the aircrafts and bombs (munitions) used by the aircrafts have developed manifold. In this small write-up, we will discuss the development of Precision Guided Munitions (PGM) and recent Indian success story in this area.
Many of us would distinctly remember that during the Kargil war with Pakistan in May-July 1999, India felt very acutely the need for air-delivered precision guided munitions. Freefall bombs used by the Indian Air Force (IAF), would fall all over the mountain ranges. These bombs delivered by the IAF could not effectively destroy the sanghars (stone embankments) occupied by the soldiers of the Pakistan Army's Northern Light Infantry. Ultimately, Indian Army had to use different artillery guns including the very high-calibre Bofors guns to destroy these sangars. Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers were also used freely. It is estimated that a total of 2,50,000 tons of artillery shell was used during the Kargil war.
This deficiency was noted by Indian defence experts and scientists of DRDO and other defence research bodies. India started developing its own PGM. With a wide-ranging research, Indian scientists could develop laser-guided precision munitions in India. These weapon systems have been developed in such a manner to enable use from land, sea and air. India also purchased laser-guided munitions from at least two foreign countries and handed them over to the armed forces.
Not only laser-guided munitions, Indian scientists have developed GPS-based munitions which are bunker-busters. The marriage of laser-guided bombs and GPS-based munitions has helped the product to be successful to hit the targets even in inclement weather. Not only that, the chances of collateral damage have now become minimal.
This modern technology was used by the IAF when it hit Balakot inside Pakistan on 26th February 2019. Without any collateral damage, the most modern aircrafts of India hit at least three structures occupied by the terrorists and the bunker-busters destroyed these structures completely. It is assumed that not even a single person inside these structures survived the hits. Further, the use of most modern aircraft ensured that the aircrafts remained in the enemy territory for the minimum time and effectively avoided enemy's radar system.
We, the proud Indians, now hope that Indian scientists will continue developing PGM in near and distant future and the Indian armed forces will write more success stories with the PGM.
[Note: The information used in this write-up is available on Internet. Those who want to know more about the strike, may watch various interviews given by ACM BS Dhanoa (Retd.) available on YouTube.]
(Competition entry: Topic based Thread of the Week contest)