|Hi. The following is a scene from a military thriller I'm writing. This particular one describes a feint assault by three PLAAF squadrons on India's North East region - intended to intimidate the Indians, and as a response to a series of terror attacks which the Chinese tie down to Indian governmental agencies.
I have a bunch of ex military friends on other forums (Indian and Chinese) helping me out with the technical aspects, but I'd like any pointers from you good people on how to improve the vermilisitude or realism of the narration - in particular to the communications and protocols. I'm not so keen on making it sound exactly like how the Indians would conduct it, but I'm very interested in making this sound real.
It was just past five in the evening, Indian Standard Time, when the initial signs of Chinese air activity were picked up by the Indian Air Force’s mobile observation posts along the McMahon Line that represented the border between the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet. The Mobile Observation Posts (MOPs) which consisted of two man teams armed with nothing more than night vision binoculars, infrared sensors, an aircraft identification booklet and a VHF radio remained India’s first and most critical line of air defence even in the 21st century, and even as the IAF rapidly attempted to modernize itself.
For the two men who made up MOP Alpha Lima Fifteen, it had been a bleak and uneventful two months of being holed up in a bunker in the side of Peak 5850, and recording the coming and going of civilian aircraft at the Chinese airport at Nyingchi Mainling – located barely 20 kilometres north of the border with India. Their bunker, located a tenacious forty kilometres trek north from the last asphalted road that led from the nearest Indian town of Yingkiong, offered them an unobstructed view of the Yarlung Zanbo river valley in the Chinese side, which with its criss-crossing highways and rapidly developing settlements posed a sharp contrast to the primitive infrastructure uninhabited mountain-scape on the Indian side. On the Chinese side were housing layouts, army barracks and industrial complexes all linked by a network of roads, while on the Indian side were nothing more than a handful of half deserted shanty towns threaded together precariously with a single narrow broken road that winded through the mountain slopes.
So far, the only air activity that MOP Alpha Lima 15 had dutifully recorded and transmitted to the command post had been the solitary Air China A319 flight from Chengdu that landed every morning at six and which took off promptly an hour later. Their command post was the located at a line of radar pickets some 150 km south of their position in the Indian state of Assam. Then there was the occasional Mi-17 or Harbin Z-6 helicopter operated by the PLA’s 2nd Army Aviation Regiment based at Lhasa meandering harmlessly through the peaks far inside Chinese territory, and which nevertheless had to be reported with detailed coordinates, altitudes and bearings.
But today, the thankless and wearisome job had taken an unexpected turn of excitement, when the two men were alerted from their slumber late in the evening by the sounds of several roaring jets in the distance. Stumbling out of their bunker into the biting cold and the fading light, the men checked their tripod mounted Infrared Search and Track Reconnaissance (ISTR) scanner and gasped in amazement before grabbing their VHF radio receiver and alerting the command post. There, marked by several hazy red blips across the dark scope of the German manufactured ISTR scanner were the tell-tale signs of several Chinese fighter jets, approaching their position from the North-West.
“Alpha Lima 15 to Command Echo Five! Message alert red!” The terse message was relayed by VHF radio with the accompanying alert code that would assign it maximum priority. “Counting sixteen bogeys at twenty eight, twelve zero eight dot nine three and ninety-three, thirty four, one-two dot seven four, bearing ten o’clock, altitude 4000m, estimated speed 450 knots! Bogeys appear to be following the river valley towards Lima-Zulu-Yankee airport.”
At an altitude of just over 4000m above mean sea level, the 16 Chinese aircrafts were just below the line of mountain peaks that separated China from India, and would have been undetectable to ground based radars on the Indian side.
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Thanks in advance for any tips!