PAF Air Base (AB) Shahbaz, Jacobabad is the new home of F-16s. The air base was expanded in late 2009/early2010 to accommodate the newly procured F-16 Block52 aircraft. Today Shahbaz AB has an operational F-16 C/D Block-52 squadron and a Mi-171 Search And Rescue (SAR) squadron. The F-16 A/B Block-15 aircraft which are undergoing Mid Life Update (MLU) are also placed at Shahbaz.
Officers of the No.39th Wing at Shahbaz AB along with their aircraft.
Falcons engineering team with F-16 Block-52 and F-16 Mid Life Update (MLU) aircraft.
No.5 Multi Role Sqn operates 18 F-16C/D Block-52 aircraft.
PAF is modernizing its fleet of 45 F-16 A/B Block-15 to Block50 standard with the help of Turkish Aircraft Industries (TAI), Turkey. Seen above is one of the five F-16 MLU currently operated by PAF. Later this year, four more F-16 MLU are scheduled to be delivered to PAF. F-16 MLU has AN/APG-68 V(9) Multimode radar which gives its “six on six” pylon AIM-120 AMRAAM carrying capability.
In March/April 2012, Wg Cdr Ghazanfar Latif (then OC No.5 Sqn) reached the unique milestone of becoming the 8th Pakistan Air Force F-16 pilot to complete 2000hrs. Wg Cdr Ghazanfar has been flying F-16s since 1996 and apart from participating in domestic exercises & operational deployments. He has also actively participated in several multinational exercises for PAF that include Exercise Anatolian Eagle 2004 (Turkey), Indus Viper 2008 (Pakistan) and Falcon Talon 2009 (Pakistan).
PAF has been operating F-16s since January 1983 and since then hundreds of thousands of flying hours have been accumulated by the Pakistani pilots. Over fifty PAF pilots have surpassed the 1000hrs benchmark.
June 26, 2010: Wg Cdr Ghazanfar Latif poses for the camera after ferrying first ever F-16 Block-52 aircraft from U.S to Pakistan. He also led the team that ferried MLU F-16s from Turkey in Feb 2012. PAF’s fleet of F-16A/B Block-15 are undergoing MLU at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Turkey which are expected to be completed by 2014.
Lockheed Martin Corp. delivers the specially designed F-16 2000-hour patch to the pilots of recipient Air Forces.
Japanese General’s sword – a proud possession of No.9 Sqn
No.9 Sqn was formed at Risalpur on 18 November, 1943 with 25 officers (4 British and 21 Indian), 114 other ranks including 19 Britishers. In May,1944 the unit moved to Comilla, south-eastern city in Bangladesh and took part in its first ever operational missions over Burma.
On 27th January, 1946 No.9 Sqn became the recipient of Japanese General’s sword in recognition of its outstanding services during Second World War.
After the war, the squadron moved to Ranchi and RAF personnel were replaced with native people Sqn Ldr M Asghar Khan was the first Indian Muslim to achieve the distinction of commanding the squadron.
Recently PAF has taken the delivery of fourth and last Il-78 Multi-Role Tanker and Transport(MRTT) aircraft. These aircraft are capable of refueling two aircraft at a time, and can carry up to 85,720 kg(188,977 lb) of fuel. The details of its role in PAF was discussed in the previous article, this post will focus on its photos only.
Following pictures were taken during Exercise High Mark 2010. In this exercise air-refueling flight trails of IL-78 and Mirage-III aircraft were successfully conducted.