In the year of 1999, the territorial integrity big the Indian nation was violated by Pakistan. Many instances of Pakistani infiltration were recorded in the span of a month.
The Pakistan had a strategy of targeting Srinagar- Leh national highway, a territorial part of India, and make India throw away Siachen glacier, highest battlefield in the world.
Undoubtedly, Indian armed forces carried out an attack, Operation Vijay(May 1999) suppressing the enemy in the most infiltrated areas Tiger hill and Tololing top which are very close to the national highway.
On the fateful day of 23rd May, 1999, ground attacks by 18 grenadiers and Naga regiment suffered heavy casualties because of the superior mountain top positions of the enemy.
This is when Indian Air Force was called in to conduct a close air support operation.But here was a problem, the dedicated attack gunship of IAF, Russian made Mi-35 has service ceiling height of approximately 10000 feet, making it ineffective to operate in rarefied and thin air of Himalayan ranges. But enemy occupied bunkers at a height of 15,000 ft.
In an one of a kind decision, IAF decided to use its troops carrying helicopter, Mi-17 as an attack gunship for this operation because of its capabilities of operating between 11000–18000 feet.
Plus, Mi-17 could carry few armaments effectively at those heights which added a firepower to the while operation. At the heights of 15000 feet, Mi- 17 could carry 4 UB-32 rocket pods with S-5 57 mm rockets.
In addition to reduce their vulnarability, it was equipped with countermeasure flares to dodge Stinger missiles and anti-aircraft guns from Pakistani infiltrators.
This first ever alterations in the attack helicopters were proved to be a gimmick of the recapturing the Tiger hill and Tololing top.
A strategy which changed the picture of the Kargil War.