Indian Air Force Uses Night Vision To Rescue 121 People From Violence-hit Sudan

The Indian Air Force aircraft landed on an airstrip that had a degraded surface with no navigational aid or fuel, and most critically no landing lights to guide the pilot in landing at night.


IAF uses night vision goggles for rescue operations in Sudan.

In a daring operation, a C-130J heavy-lift aircraft of the Indian Air Force used night vision to land on a small airstrip at Wadi Sayyidna, about 40 km north of violence-hit Khartoum, to rescue 121 people from Sudan.

The rescue operation was carried out on the intervening night of April 27 and 28.

The airstrip had a degraded surface with no navigational aid or fuel, and most critically no landing lights which are required to guide an aircraft landing at night, according to the Indian Air Force. The pilots, as a result, used night vision goggles (NVGs) to carry out the operation.


The officials said the aircrew used their electro-optical and infrared sensors to ensure that the runway was free of any obstruction and there were no inimical forces in the vicinity. 

"Having made sure of the same, the aircrew carried out a tactical approach using night vision goggles on a practically dark night," an official told news agency PTI.

"Upon landing, the aircraft engines were kept running while eight IAF Garud Commandos secured the passengers and their luggage into the aircraft. As with the landing, the take off from the unlit runway was also carried out using night vision goggles," he added.


The rescue operation was conducted to reach those passengers who had no means to reach the Port of Sudan. 

Those rescued included a pregnant woman and those who had no means to reach Port Sudan, the key transit point from where India is rescuing its citizens using military aircraft and naval ships, the IAF officials said.

"This approximately two-and-a-half hour operation between Wadi Sayyidna and Jeddah will go down in the annals of IAF history for its sheer audacity and flawless execution -- akin to that carried out in Kabul," the IAF official noted.

The Indian Air Force had carried out similar operations to evacuate Indians from Kabul after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

Earlier this week, India launched 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back the stranded Indians from Sudan.

Sudan has been witnessing fighting between the country's army and a paramilitary group that has reportedly left around 400 people dead.

(With PTI inputs)