It was the code name assigned to the IAF’s role for acting jointly with the Indian Army during 1999, Kargil War at the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The White Sea got its name from the fact that it was done in Kargil in the cold Area at a very high altitude.
Why this operation was needed?
Enemies were stationed at an altitude of about 10,000 and were also ready with weapons and ammunition. Enemies were watching all our movements at heights like Tololing Sector and Tiger Hill. So climbing straight up from there was almost impossible and there were big casualties So Govt decided to field IAF. That’s the operation, Safed Sagar.
The operation was launched on 26th May…
IAF’s job was to attack the enemies at the top while the army was working to climb to the top. So that the work of the army becomes lighter. the planning was done between 11 May to 25 May about how to attack. And finally, the day came when the Air Force had to prove its spirit on May 7th,1999.
IAF carried out the mission in three phases…
- Getting information about the enemy at high altitudes. To collect photos of weapons and bunkers
- Direct blasts to a high peak where there are enemies
- Attack even at night from NightVision and laser-guided Device obtained from Israel.
The beginning was not easy. Pakistan’s army was fully equipped and also had a Stinger missile which was causing a lot of trouble. But our military was also united and was responding with full force.
India needed to fly at an altitude of 20,000 feet. While with weapons MI-35 could not fly as high as that. So it was decided to send an MI-17 along with a MiG fighter. MI-17 is designed to use for truce caring. but at this time it is truly converted into a heavy-duty vehicle.
There was some success in the beginning but we also had to face difficulties. we lost our brave soldier. One MI-17 helicopter and one MiG were lost. Pilot Nachiket More’s helicopter crashed due to an engine flam out. He had to land with a parachute. The Pak army captured him and He was kept in custody for 8 days. Ajay Ahuja was shut by a handheld stinger when he went to look for him below. The intruder shot him and was martyred. Their loss will always be remembered.
The order of the Government of India was to stay inside the LOC. because PAK claimed that these people were not the Pakistani army and that they were terrorists from Kashmir. even they were denied accepting dead bodies.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) flew its first air support missions on 26 May, operating from the Indian airfields of Srinagar, Awantipora, and Adampur. Ground attack aircraft MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, Jaguars, Mirage 2000 and helicopter gunships struck insurgent positions.
There was also an occasion when an Air Force fighter jet could not operate in the inaccessible area of Siachen due to its shortage of technical and special devices. then thanks to Israel Made available laser-guided bombs and night vision Weapons and also helped in finding the exact location of the enemy using drones. Also trained Air Force engineers and technicians. May This mission would not have been successful without the great help of Israel. Israel has proved to be a true friend.
the Mirage 2000 fleet was proved it’s worth in war. on 30 may, it was inducted. the Pak had scrambled their F16 to target the mirage but they were already lit by our advanced technology in MIG 29s and su-MKIS which could see the F16s in their advanced AESA radars well behind the Indian side of LOC. so, the F16 could not lock on to our jets till they were within striking distance. the main turning point of war which is the attack in munthodhalo by Mirage 2000, which was the main supply station for Pak. with the use of lighting pods precious bomb strike was done and more than 300 Pak soldiers died on the spot and their support system was broken.
IAF has played a big role in getting Tiger Hill and Tololing Peak. how we forget the great success of the Nubra helicopter. With the help of 4 Nubra helicopters, we successfully got a 5140 peak point led by wing commando A.K. Singh. All missiles were targeted but attacked in such a way as to defeat the PAK. He cleared the way for the army and said that you should carry out the operation on 26th July.
how can we forget the first lady Gunjan Saxena pilot in the Kargil war? Saxena flew a cheetah helicopter into the combat zone during the Kargil war. at such a young age, she fulfilled the newly bestowed responsibility. The daughter of an Indian army officer, she even had a close shave during the war, an enemy missile just missed her aircraft and exploded behind it. Even this couldn’t deter the fearless Saxena. we salute the exemplary courage and grit of flight lieutenants Gunjan Saxena and Srividya Rajan.
What does the IAF contribute to the Kargil war?
- to destroy every post of an intruder.
- Succeeded in attacking at night
- create a big difference for the Indian army
- each target is destroyed with accuracy
- The loss was less than expected, thanks to the Air force.
Then war continued till 26th July…
300 fighter planes…
65000 times flew…
24 big targets…
and With the success of Kargil, operation safed Sagar was a success…
salute 527 martyred soldiers….. Jai hind