Finally, it may have taken barely between Rs 1.68 crore to Rs 2.2 crore for India to deliver the killer punch at terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad deep inside the Pakistani territory.
More than Rs 2,568 crore worth of airborne Indian assets entered the Pakistani territory to deliver 1,000 kg of bombs worth Rs 56 lakh each in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi areas, eliminating between 200-300 terrorists before returning safely to airbases in early hours of Febuary 26.
Another Rs 3,686 crore worth of assets were on watch as India gave a glimpse to the world of the might of the Indian Air Force. A Rs 1,750 crore AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System) took off from Bhatinda airbase to keep a 360 degree surveillance on Pakistani air space to warn against scrambling of jets or retaliatory attack. A Rs 22 crore Illyushin mid-air refueling tanker took off from Agra and IAF's Rs 80 crore Heron surveillance drone took off from a secret airfield. At the same time 3 Russian made Sukhoi Su-30MKI air superiority aircraft each worth Rs 358 crore ($50million each) were airborne within Indian territory, ready to retaliate, during the 21 minute mission. Another 5 MiG 29s-each worth Rs 154 crore--were on scramble-alert on the ground at Adampur during the entire mission.
These are all over and above the fuel costs incurred, the high state of readiness of the three forces as well as the command and control centres on ground.
Twelve Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 aircraft-each worth Rs 214 crore--took off from the Gwalior airbase armed with 225 kg GBU-12 conventional laser guided bombs kitted with American-built precision guidance. Each GBU 12 Paveway II (Guided Bomb Unit) which were introduced by the US in 1976 carries a 225 kg warhead worth $20,000-$21,000 (costing between Rs 14-14.7 lakh). With IAF Mirages delivering 1000 kg of bombs it's likely that the IAFs used between 4 to 5 bombs in each of the three locations worth between Rs 56 lakh to Rs 73.5 lakh. GBU 12 Paveway II can be fired with precision from up to 15 kms away.
With the IAF using so few bombs for precision and to avoid collateral damage, it indicates not all Mirages were on bombing mission alone even though all may be armed. Some of the Mirages were also armed with Matra Magic close combat missile to retaliate any possible Pakistan Air Force response during the mission. While others may be providing cover in anticipation of a dog-fight if Pak Air Force scrambled its jets.
At 3.30 am as Mirage pilots flew low over Pakistani territory, they conducted final checks on the targets. As they got the final go ahead from command centre, the pilots used laser pods to 'paint' targets. Finally the bombs were delivered between at 3.45 am and 4:04 am and the mission lasted about 21 minutes. It was a very small price to pay to deliver a big message that India won't hesitate to cross the border to chase down terrorists and if they do dare to attack, they may now have no place to hide.