Lessons from Balakot: Air force to revamp radio system in all planes

Planes of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are all set to get a technical boost as the defence ministry has decided to revamp radio systems in all IAF planes. This was part of the recommendations made by the Air Force following its assessment of the Balakot airstrikes and why Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 Bison went down during a dogfight a day after that.

In its assessment, the Air Force found that during the dogfight, radio system of Abhinandan’s aircraft got jammed and lost communication with the ground control tower.

Following this, Deputy Air chief Air Marshal VR Chowdhary wrote to the government about the IAF’s findings.

The decision to revamp radio system in all Air Force planes has been taken to ensure that there is no recurrence of a similar communication failure like the one Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s plane suffered in the crucial dogfight on February 27.

The defence ministry has recently cleared a proposal through which DRDO will indigenously manufacture a Software Defined Radio which will ensure that communication between pilots and ground stations does not get jammed.



This is one big example of MoD babus red tapeism causing serious issues to the Nation. Only if we can figure out and punish the particular officer, we will see non recurrence of the consequence.


Right after balakot incident, we gave orders to elbit systems for SDRs and communication equipments. They have the best product in the field and even US uses them. But its really pathetic that such an important part of warfare which is radio communication was so outdated that it was easily jammed. What were the military top brass and MoD doing? We cant wait for such critical hardware to be indegenized by DRDO.