The Indian Air Force (IAF) has asked the government to urgently purchase fresh ammunition for its fighter jets as Pakistan has deployed all its F-16s to forward bases along the Indian border, according to a report by The Economic Times.
Amid rising tensions between the countries since the Pulwama terror attack and then India’s Balakot airstrike, India has continued to maintain high operational alertness, having to fly several additional sorties of its fighters, fully loaded with their respective missiles which inevitably reduces the ammunition’s shelf life.
“The F16s have been distributed all across Pakistan air bases and are still trained at us. They are continuing to undertake night flying and have their air defence network on alert,” sources told ET
“These missiles have a certain life. While stored in a canister, this is counted in terms of the age of the system in years but when fighters are operationally deployed, the life of the missile depends on the number of sorties being undertaken. So we need fresh replenishments,” top government sources explained.
Despite consultations with the US after the Balakot strikes, the Pakistan Air Force has deployed its F16s at forward bases all along the border with India. Pakistani airspace has also not been fully opened for civilian traffic unlike Indian airspace.
According to sources, post the Balakot airstrike, Pakistan terror camps have been moved to the FATA region, to take them out of the range of Indians fighter jets operating from near the Line of Control (LoC).