Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16
A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 aircraft taking off from an unidentified airfield.

Despite the international community emphasising on de-escalation along the Line of Control, Pakistan has moved its F16  jets to forward bases, which has prompted the Indian Air Force to seek more ammunition for its fighter planes. Pakistan is also believed to have shifted most of the terror camps from areas near LoC to the far west in Federally Administered Tribal Areas ( FATA).

The ammunition sought by the IAF for its Mirage 2000 and Su30MKIs jets is in the form of air-to-air missiles for patrol along the LoC to avert any attack from Pakistan. Amid the current military standoff, the Indian Army and Air Force have been asked to remain vigilant, and there are hectic night flying and additional sorties of fighter jets along the LoC.

The demand for additional ammunition from IAF comes in the wake of "the limited shelf life of air-to-air missiles", which gets further reduced when they are used by operational fighter jets.

"Such missiles have a certain life. When they are stored in a canister, their life is counted in terms of age of the system in years but when the fighter jets are undertaking any operational activity, there should be fresh replenishments," sources told Economic Times.

Pakistan moves Jaish camps from border areas into interiors?

Anticipating a fresh Indian air attack, Pakistan is believed to have shifted out a majority of JeM-run training camps to the FATA region, so that these units are out of the range of Indian fighter jets positioned along the LoC. 

Balakot strike
A view of a site after the IAF released payload in Balakot, Pakistan on February 26.Reuters

Pakistan was earlier caught by surprise when Indian fighter jets flew several hundred kilometres from LoC into Pakistan territory to hit JeM terror camp. Although Pakistan denied any damage to life or property, India had claimed to have killed 200-300 terrorists and destroyed training camps.

The US-made F16 jets have also been deployed along the LoC and are continuing night flying activities. The Indian defence network is also on a high alert with more fighter jets added to the strength along the border.

A partial airspace closure by Pakistan even 20 days after the Balakot airstrike is also indicative of the fact that both the countries are still apprehending attacks from each other and the de-escalation only seems to be on the diplomatic front.