Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Muhammad Anwar Shamim NI(M),SJ

ACM Anwar Shamim

Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Muhammad Anwar Shamim NI(M),SJ passed away yesterday on January 4, 2013 (aged 81). He was 10th Chief of the PAF (23 July 1978 – 5 March 1985) and a war veteran from 1965 and 71 war. ACM Anwar Shamim commanded PAF bases , Sakesar, Korangi Creek and Masroor; No.11 Sqn and No.33 Fighter Wing (Sargodha).

Anwar Shamim modernized PAF by procuring state-of-the-art F-16 aircraft from US and  A-5 ground support aircraft from China in January 1983.  These procurement not only meant end of service of obsolete fleet of B-57 bombers, but it also provided PAF with a quantum leap and massive technological edge over its adversary.

Anwar Shamim’s services include expansion of PAF role and tasks by creation of three commands (Southern, Northern and Air Force Strategic command), reforming PAF training and war doctrines as well.  His legacy: PAF will remain the most-competent and hard-hitting fighting force forever. May Allah bless his soul, Amen!

F-16's induction ceremony - Jan15 1983.

F-16’s induction ceremony – Jan15 1983.

L-to-R :Sami Tuur, Shahid Lateef, Shahid Javed, President Gen Zia-ul-Haq, ACM Anwar Shamim(CAS), Ali K Khattak, M. Avais and Muzzafar Ali.

anwar_shamim_cecil_bhatti_1965war

L-to-R: Flt Lt Cecil Choudhry (late), Wng Cdr Anwar Shamim (late) and Flt Lt Imtiaz Bhatti group photo taken after bombing run on Amritsar radar station, India on September 11 1965 war. The somke-blackened portion on F-86F Sabre’s gun panel in the background is a witness to this successful mission.

During the 1965 war, Anwar Shamim led 14 air defence/escort missions and 5 ground attack missions.  For his immaculate strategic planning, leadership, courage and displaying unparalleled flying skills he was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.

References:

http://pafwallpapers.com/airchiefs.htm

JF-17 Thunder: A Customized Multirole fighter

International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2012 has recently ended at Expo Centre, Karachi. This 7th edition of the exhibition is held after a delay of four years. Many new investors have made their way to this exhibition. Weapons, ammunition, C4ISR systems, engineering, logistics and naval equipment are categorized in nine different categories.

IDEAS give an ideal platform to manufactures of weapon systems, ammunition, logistics to present their systems to their potential customers and Pakistani defence organizations at large. This five-day event has showcased military related equipment from 209 firms; including 135 foreign and 74 Pakistani firms. Delegations from over 80 countries around the world have participated in this exhibition.

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) joint venture JF-17 Thunder is also displayed at IDEAS 2012 along with Super-Mushshak primary trainer and K-8 Advance Jet Trainer.
JF-17 Thunder is displayed with an array of air-to-ground weapons, successfully integrated and in operational service with PAF. Brazilian origin MAR-1 Anti-Radiation Missile, Chinese PL-5E Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (SRAAM), Hafr Runway Penetration Bomb (RPB) (Pakistani variant of MBDA Durandal) and U.S.-Origin Mk-82/84 General purpose bombs are also displayed in IDEAS 2012.

MAR-1 missile was integrated with JF-17 in the first half of 2011 and it was made operational in 2012. PL-5E II Air-to-Air missile, MK-82/84 bombs and Hafr RPB were also successfully integrated in 2010. Numerous bombing practice missions have also been conducted in past couple of years.

Unlike previous public appearances of JF-17 on air shows and defence exhibitions; this time no SD-10 Medium Range BVR missile, C-802 Anti-Shipping missile, WMD-7 Electro-Optic/IR targeting pod, KG-300 Electronic Warfare pod or LS-6 glide guided are displayed. One of the reasons is that Zhuahi Air Show 2012; which will be held from 13 to 18 November 2012 in China will be featuring the Chinese-origin air, land and sea attack weapons for JF-17 Thunder.

Over the years JF-17 has matured enough to form the backbone of PAF. Integration of various classes of weapons systems from different origins has increased its potential to multi-folds. The low-operating cost and smaller price tag gives JF-17 a significant edge of other fighters of its class; which deliver similar performance at a hefty price tag.

It is pertinent to mention here that JF-17 is a customized Multi-Role fighter for PAF. The weapons displayed and integrated with it so far are subjected to PAF’s Air Staff Requirements (ASR). There are many Western and Chinese origin weapons which are in process of integration or queued up for integration (if required by any customer). FC-1; the export version of JF-17 will incorporate Chinese origin avionics, Electronic Warfare suite and GPS/navigation technology. Modifications to meet any western origin aircraft design can be made; including integration of US origin AIM-9L Sidewinder missile, British origin Martin Baker Zero-Zero ejection seats and western origin GPS/navigation technology as well. Some of these aforementioned western origin changes are already done in PAF JF-17s.

As mentioned before, an array of weapons are queued up for integration with JF-17.
These weapons include Chinese origin CM-802 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW); land attack derivate of the C-802 (YJ-82) anti-ship missile with a range of 230km, Chinese origin CM-400 SOW; a super-sonic SOW with lethal penetration and fire-and-forget capability, South African Origin H-2 SOW (already in service with PAF Mirages since mid1990s) and Pakistani Hatf-VIII Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) capable of carrying both conventional and non-conventional warheads and possibly Chinese origin TL-500 SOW; newly showcased 500 kg SOW at Zhuhai Air Show 2012. Various classes of 250kg and 500kg glide guided bombs are also available for integration with JF-17. These include LT-3 (500kg glide bomb with foldable wings), LS-6 (500kg/250kg/100kg/50kg glide bomb) etc. Satellite/inertial guidance kits are also available for addition with 250kg/500kg general purpose bombs making them lethal precision guided bombs (similar to US JDAM) for a target of up to 60kms. FT-1/FT-2 guidance kits can be embarked upon 500kg/1,000lb bombs whereas FT-3/FT-4 satellite/inertial guidance kits can be employed on 250kg/500lb class general purpose bombs. These guidance tail kits are available in strap on folding wing kits and planar wing kits. Low drag bomb casing and steel penetrator warhead (for deep penetration in concrete structures like Hardened Air Shelters (HAS)) can also be employed.

A part from the aforementioned avionics and weapon load customization options available with JF-17 Thunder, there is one significant portion left un-discussed i.e.range and endurance of the aircraft. The first batch of 50 JF-17s for PAF has a combat radius of 1300km, which will be enhanced by introduction of Air-to-Air refuelling probe in the second batch. The take-off distance of 2,000ft (610m) and landing distance of 2,700ft (823m) makes JF-17 favourable aircraft for shorter-runway or road-landing operations.
China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) are marketing JF-17 as “cutting edge technology at an affordable cost” to small budget air forces operating Mig-21/J-7/Mig-29 and Mirage-III/V aircraft. No doubt that JF-17 delivers a hard hitting and complete solution with smaller operating cost and greater flexibility.

jf-17s_zhuhai_2012

JF-17 Thunders lined up after arrival in China to participate in Zhuhai air show 2012.[Photo: www.chinanews.com]

jf-17_thunder_pakistan_air_force_china_kamra_rd_93_01

JF-17 Thunder Serial no 09-111; the first JF-17 locally assembled in Pakistan, taking off from Peshawar Air Base. Over 40 of such aircraft are operational in service with PAF. PAF JF-17s are powered with RD-93 engine, capable of producing 79-98kN of thrust. WS-13; another potent engine undergoing flight trails at Chengdu flight center, China. WS-13 will be available for export version FC-1 aircraft in near future.

500 kg LT-3 precision guided bomb

500 kg LT-3 precision guided bomb with an effective range of up to 24km. It employs modular laser sensor kit similar to US origin GBU-54/55/56 Laser JDAM (LJDAM) weapons. [Photo: Air Power Australia, www.ausairpower.net]

cm-400akg_stand_off_weapon_china

Brochure of Chinese origin CM-400 SOW; a super-sonic SOW with lethal penetration and fire-and-forget capability displayed at Zhuhai air show 2012. The weapon is cited as one of the potential SOW for FC-1/JF-17 Thunder aircraft. [Photo: China.com, www.china.com]

cm-802akg_stand_off_weapon_china

Brochure of Chinese origin Chinese origin CM-802 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW); land attack derivate of the C-802 (YJ-82) anti-ship missile with a range of 230km displayed at Zhuhai air show 2012. According to Janes[i] PAF has shown interest in procuring this weapon for JF-17 Thunder. [Photo: China.com, www.china.com]

jf-17_thunder_sd-10_bvr_mssile_ls-6_bomb

SD-10A Medium Range Air to Air Missiles on multi-ejector racks and LS-6, 500kg glide bomb. LS-6 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 15m. [Photo: Chinese Internet]

This article was published in The Frontier Post on November 13, 2012.

 

 

JF-17 Thunder’s Weapon load

JF-17 Thunder – All round view                                         Chapter 8 : JF-17 Thunder’s Weapon Load

JF-17 configuration of weapon load:

jf-17_thunder_mission_load

JF-17 Weapon load

Weapons Rails/Hard Points:

JF-17 Thunder has seven hard points.

JF-17 Thunder has seven hard points for carrying external weapons/fuel tanks. One is on each wing tip, two under each wing and one under belly.

Pylons attachments areas marked on the upper side on wings.

Pylons attachments areas marked on the upper side on wings.

jf-17_thunder_weapon_pylons_1.jpg

JF-17’s pylon 1,2 and 6,7 are mainly used for carrying air-air missiles. JF-17 can carry two AIM-9L Sidewinders or PL-5E II Short Range Air to Air Missiles (SRAAM) on wingtip pylons (pylon 1/2) and four SD-10A Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAM) on multi ejectors racks attached on pylon 6/7. Pylon 6/7 can also carry mission pods including WMD-7 Optical targeting pod and KG-300 Electronic Warfare pod.

jf-17_thunder_pylon_5-6_fuel

JF-17’s pylon 3 and 5 with various pins for locking, security and jettissioning attached weapons/fuel stations. It can carry 1000+ Kg of weapons which include Mk-82/84 dumb bombs, LT-2/GBU-10/12 Laser Guided bombs (LGB), various classes of LS-6 gluide guided bombs, C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile (ASM) and  H-2/4 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW), Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) in the future.

jf-17_thunder_pylon_5-6_fuel_tank_marking jf-17_thunder_izmir_air_show_2011_wing

JF-17’s pylon 3 and 5 is mainly used for carrying 1100 L fuel tanks. In the left photo; High-visibility markings in both English and Chinese language for ground crew.

jf-17_thunder_fuel_tanks_center_line

JF-17’s pylon 4 is mainly used for carrying 800 L fuel tank. It can also be used to carry up to 2000lbs (1000kg+) of munitions.

External fuel stations

jf-17_thunder_take_off_three_fuel_tanks

JF-17 can carry three external fuel tanks (2x 1100 L under wing and 1X 800 L centerline fuel tank) both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground role.

The maximum range (3,000km) in a High-High-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 2 x SD-10A MRAAM + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

The maximum range (1,200km) in a Medium-Low-Low-High mission profile is achieved in the following configuration:

–          Stores: 2 x PL-5E II SRAAM + 4 x 250kg bomb + 2 x 1100 L tank + 800 L tank.

Weapon load case studies

jf-17_thunder_izmir_airshow_specs_chart

 

Characteristics / specification chart of JF-17 on the static display at Izmir during the Centenary Celebrations of Turkish Air Show 2011.

JF-17 has a maximum take-off weight 27,336 lb (12,400kg), maximum external stores weight of 8820lbs (4,000kg)

Weapon Length Diameter Weight
WMD-7 pod 2.700 m 0.390 m 280 kg
C-802A 6.392 m 36 cm 715 kg
Ra’ad ALCM 4.85 m 1100 kg
H-2/4 SOW 3650 mm 38 cm H-4: 1200 kgH-2: 980 kg (2,160 lb)
MK-82 bomb 87.4 inches (2,220 mm) 10.75 inches (273 mm) 227 kg (500 lb)
MK-84 bomb 129 in (3280 mm) 18 in (458 mm) 925 kg (2039 lb)
LT-2 3580mm 380mm 570kg
LT-3 3.58m 0.38 m 564 kg
LS-6 (500 kg) 300mm 377mm 540kg
PL-5E SRAAM 2.893m 0.127m 83kg
SD-10A MRAAM 3,850mm 203mm 180kg
AIM-9L Sidewinder 2850 mm 127mm 85.3kg
MAR-1 ARM 4.03 metres (13.2 ft) 0.23 metres (0.75 ft) 274 kilograms (600 lb)

 

According to Chief Designer of JF-17 at Dubai Air Show 2011, 3 pylons of JF-17 can carry a total of 4,000+ kg of weapon load.

Considering a JF-17 equipped with:

Case-1

4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg)

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

1×800 Litre centerline fuel tank (Total Weight 648 kg) + 40kg(tank weight)  = 690kg

2×1100 Litre droptanks on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 1782 kg) 1782+ 120kg(tanks weight) =1900kg

Total weight= 900+170+690+1900 = 3660kg

Case-2

4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg) [100kg for rack weight]

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

1×800 Litre centerline fuel tank (Total Weight 648 kg) + 40kg (tank weight)  = 690kg

2x 1100kg Ra’ad ALCM on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 2200 kg)

OR

2x 1200kg H-4 SOW on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 2400 kg)

OR

2x980kg H-2 SOW on inner wing pylons (Total Weight 1960 kg)

Total weight= 900+170+690+2200 = 3960kg (Ra’ad)

Total weight= 900+170+690+2400 = 4160kg (H-4)

Total weight= 900+170+690+1960 =3720 (H-2)

 Case-3

4x SD-10 MRAAM on under-wing Multi Ejector Racks (Total Weight 900 kg)

2xPL-5E SRAAM on wingtips (Total Weight 170 kg)

2x 925 kg Mk-84 Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) on inner wing pylons (Total weight 2000 kg) [1850kg +150kg for LGB kit]

1x 280 kg WMD-7 Targeting pod on centerline station = 280kg

Total weight= 900+170+2000 = 3070 kg

Weapons

jf-17_thunder_sd-10_bvr_mssile_ls-6_bomb

SD-10A Medium Range Air to Air Missiles on multi-ejector racks and LS-6, 500kg glide bomb. LS-6 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 15m.

jf-17_thunder_c802_ashm_missile

C-802A anti-shipping missile has a range of 180km. Its flight trials with JF-17 Thunder were conducted in November 2011.

jf-17_thunder_wmd_7_electro_optic_targeting_pod

WMD-7 is an Electro-Optic targeting with infrared, TV and laser sensor. It can search, track and identify targets during both day and night.  In IR detection mode it can detect targets at 20km range, where as it can successfully identity them from 15km. The TV mode gives 22km target detection and target 17km identification features.

jf-17_thunder_kg_300_jammer_ew_pod

KG-300 Airborne Self-Protection Jamming pod is a stand-alone system carried on under wing or center line station. KG-300 provides multi-target electronic jamming, multi-signal parameter measurement, deception and other counter enemy radar features to the aircraft.

jf-17_thunder_mark-84_high_mark2010 jf-17_thunder_mark-82_high_mark2010

JF-17s equipped with 2000lbs Mk-84 and 500lbs Mk-82 bombs during Exercise High Mark 2010.

jf-17_thunder_mk-82 bomb_1000l_fuel_tanks_pl-5e_sraam

JF-17 Protoype-4 during weapon load testing in early 2009. The aircraft is equipped with 4x Mk-82 bombs, 3x 1000L fuel tanks and 2xPL-5E II SRAAM.

jf-17_thunder_pt-06_sd-10a_bvr_missile

JF-17 Protoype-6, dedicated for Chinese weapon integration and avionics testing equipped with SD-10 MRAAM. SD-10’s ‘live weapon’ firing trials were conducted on same aircraft in 2011.

MAR-1 air-to-ground Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM)

MAR-1 is an air-to-ground Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) developed by Brazil’s Mectron Corp and the Aerospace Technology and Science Department of Brazilian Air Force. MAR-1 introduced in 2008 is a designed to perform in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) role. It has various modes for high and low altitude radar. MAR-1 is believed to be potent weapon and enemy Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) radar. Its range is cited as 60 to 100 km with 90 kilograms (200 lb) warhead. PAF bought $108 million worth 100 MAR-1 missiles for JF-17 and Mirage-III/V aircraft in 2008. The missile was made operational with JF-17 in late 2011.

JF-17 Thunder Electro Optic pod

China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) JF-17 Prototype-6 seen in April ’2012 in Chendu flight center with electro-optical navigation pod.

jf-17_thunder_raptor_1_h-2_jsow_missile

Kentron  (South Africa) built Raptor-I/H-2 Stand Off Weapon (SOW), is a lethal TV-guided glide bomb produced under license by Air Weapons Comlpex (AWC), Pakistan.  H-2 can strike a target upto 60 km (37.5 miles). H-2 has a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 3m, hardened nose and timed fuse giving it the capability to penetrate Hardened Air Shelters (HAS) before explosion. Raptor-II/H-4 SOW is improved version of its predecessor with rocket motor and improved strike range (120km).

jf-17_thunder_mark_mk84_bomb_sd-10

A JF-17 model with its armory. The inner pylons are carrying 2x 2000lbs GBU-10 LGBs.

 jf-17_thunder_gbu_500kg_lt-2_bomb.jpg

Seen above; LT-2, a 570kg LGB. LT-2 bomb comes in both 500kg and 1000kg versions.

jf-17_thunder_lt-2_lt-3_gbu-500-kg

LT-2 and LT-3, the latter is 564kg precision guided bomb with a range of 24km. LT-3 is similar to US GBU-54/55/56(V)/B Laser JDAM (LJDAM) weapons.

Illustrations and Art-Work

LS-6 Precision Guided Glide Bomb

LS-6 Precision Guided Glide Bomb

C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile

JF-17 Thunder C-802 Anti-Shipping Missile

MAR-1 Anti Radiation Missile

JF-17 Thunder MAR-1 Anti Radiation Missile

Hafr Runway Penetration Bomb

jf-17_thunder_hafr_runway_bomb_load

H-2/4 Stand-Off Weapon 

jf-17_thunder_h4_weapon_load

Ra’ad Air Launched Cruise Missile

jf-17_thunder_raad_load

GBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb and WMD-7 Electro Optic Targeting pod

jf-17_thunder_wmd_7_electro_optic_targeting_pod_loaded

References:

http://premierspacesystems.com/Aircraft.html

Centerline External Fuel Tank –4 90 liters   (130 US Gal) {395 kg, or 870 lb when full}

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_fuel says 0.8075 kg/L
This source http://www.experimentalaircraft.info/homebuilt-aircraft/aviation-fuel-1.php says 0.81 kg/L or 6.76 lb/US gallon, or API density 44.3°.
 
 

Black Spiders : Venomous Than Ever!

No.26 Squadron “Black Spiders” was the first squadron to be equipped with JF-17 Thunder in 2010. Being the first operational squadron with newly built JF-17 aircraft, 26 Sqn has various responsibilities that includepilot training and weapons testing.

Black Spiders have also participated in PAF’ s largest exercise “Exercise High Mark 2010” and joint exercise “Exercise Shaheen-I” with the PLAAF (Peoples Liberation Army Air Force) in 2011. 26 MR SqnJF-17s have also made their attendance in Farnborough International air show, U.K (2010), Zhuhai air show, China (2010) and Izmir air show, Turkey (2011).

jf-17_thunder_no26_sqn_black_spiders

No.26 MR Sqn “Black Spiders” pilots with their Officer Commanding Wng Cdr Khalid Mehmood.

 

 

Some memories from 1965 war…

Air Marshal (AM) Mohammad Nur Khan took charge as C-in-C of PAF on 23 July 1965

Air Marshal (AM) Mohammad Nur Khan took charge as C-in-C of PAF on 23 July 1965. Previously in past six years he was serving as Managing Director of Pakistan International Air lines. To lead his force from the front, he converted onto F-86F and F-104A fighters.
In the photo above Nur Khan is conducting pre-flight checks prior to a solo flight on F-104, dual seat F-104B is also seen in the background. During 1965 war, he personally visited PAF bases and airfields which were participating in the combat in an F-86 Sabre aircraft flown by himself.

Sqn Ldr Mohammad Mahmood Alam

Squadron Leader  (Sqn Ldr) Mohammad Mahmood Alam (commonly known as M.M. Alam) became the first Ace pilot from Sub-continent by shooting down five IAF hunter aircraft in less than a minute. The history making event happened on the morning of 7 September 1965. M.M Alam shot down 9 enemy aircraft and damaged 2 aircraft in only three sorties. The 9 big Indian flags on his favourite F-86 F-35-NA denote confirm kills, 2 small flags denote damaged aircraft.

M.M Alam (in center) and other pilots of No.11 Squadron (Sqn) at operations room during the war.

M.M Alam (in center) and other pilots of No.11 Squadron (Sqn) at operations room during the war. No.11 Sqn flew a total of 227 sorties in seventeen days of the combat.

No.6 C-130 Sqn conducted logistic support missions and bombing missions during the war.

No.6 C-130 Sqn conducted logistic support missions and bombing missions during the war. They dropped Pak Army commandoes of Special Services Group (SSG) near Adampur, Halwara and Pathankot. To cope with requirement of night bombers, these Hercules also conducted bombing missions over Indian battlefields. In 20 missions as a bomber, a total of 22,000 lbs of High Explosive (HE) bombs were rolled out from these aircraft. Seven officers from No.6 Sqn were awarded Sitara-i-Jurat and two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) were awarded Tamgha-i-Jurat.

On Sep 3, 1965 IAF Gnat(seen in left along with F-86 Sabre) flown by Sqn Ldr Brijpal Singh Sikand surrenders to PAF’s No.9 F-104 Starfighter during an air combat. The Indian pilot landed aircraft on pasrur airfield near Gujranwala and was taken Prison Of war (POW). Later Sqn Ldr Saad Hatmi flew that captured Gnat from Pusrur to Sargodha, which is now placed in PAF museum in Karachi.

On Sep 3, 1965 IAF Gnat(seen in left along with F-86 Sabre) flown by Sqn Ldr Brijpal Singh Sikand surrenders to PAF’s No.9 F-104 Starfighter during an air combat. The Indian pilot landed aircraft on pasrur airfield near Gujranwala and was taken Prison Of war (POW). Later Sqn Ldr Saad Hatmi flew that captured Gnat from Pusrur to Sargodha, which is now placed in PAF museum in Karachi.

In an article Late Air Cdre Saad Hatmi narrates the event as:

” From the air it looked like a big Mela at Pasrur airfield as Wing Commander Ayaz and I arrived over­head. The IAF Gnat had been switched off at the end of the run­way. There were people everywhere and more were coming; they came on foot, bicycles, tongas, horses, cars and buses; all to see the IAF fighter. We had to buzz the airfield many a time before the crowd gave us enough room to land. It was a touching scene as we parked next to the Gnat. The crowd broke into wild clapping and greeted us with loud cheers of “PAF Zindabad”. The Gnat was being guarded by a detachment of Army Jawans.

Pilots of No.19 Sqn with their Sqn commander Sqn Ldr Sajjad Haider (center). Pilots of No.19 Sqn with their Sqn commander Sqn Ldr Sajjad Haider (center). 1965 war

Pilots of No.19 Sqn with their Sqn commander Sqn Ldr Sajjad Haider (center).

During the 1965 war, No.19 Sqn conducted various strike, air combat and Close Air Support (CAS) missions for Pak-Army. The most successful strike mission was the attack on Pathankot air filed on Sep 6, 1965 in which 8 F-86s destroyed IAF fighters parked in hangars. A total of 14 wreckages were counted, including IAFs Soviet-supplied Mig-21s as well.

Formation:

Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider (lead)

Wing Commander M G Tawab

Flight Lieutenants Arshad Sami , M Akbar, Mazhar Abbas, Dilawar Hussain, Ghani Akbar

Flying Officers Arshad Chaudhry, Khalid Latif and Abbas Khattak

Indian air field at Pathankot in the aftermath of the deadly strike by 8 F-86s from No.19 Sqn, Mig-21s are seen bursting into flames.

Indian air field at Pathankot in the aftermath of the deadly strike by 8 F-86s from No.19 Sqn. Soviet-supplied Mig-21s parked in the base are seen bursting into flames.

Sqn Ldr Shabbir H. Syed took command of the No.14 Squadron in March 1963; later in October 1964 squadron was deployed at Dhaka, the place where it fought against 10 IAF fighter squadrons in the 1965 war.

Sqn Ldr Shabbir H. Syed took command of the No.14 Squadron in March 1963; later in October 1964 squadron was deployed at Dhaka, the place where it fought against 10 IAF fighter squadrons in the 1965 war.

On 7 September, 1965, Sqn Ldr Shabbir Syed led two separate strike formations in same day. Both times, the target was IAF air field in Kalaikunda. At the end of the day he and his team members destroyed 10 Canberra light bombers and 2 unidentified enemy transport aircraft. For displaying unparalleled flying skills and courage he was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.

Air Marshal Nur Khan awarding Sitara-e-Jurat To Flight Lieutenant M.Tariq Habib for his exceptional performance on Kaliakunda strike. [Post 1965 war photo].

Air Marshal Nur Khan awarding Sitara-e-Jurat To Flight Lieutenant M.Tariq Habib for his exceptional performance on Kaliakunda strike. [Post 1965 war photo].

No.14 Sqn pilots and crew that participated in 1965 war.

No.14 Sqn pilots and crew that participated in 1965 war.

Standing from left (2nd & 3rd) are Sqn Ldr Shabbir H syed (OC) and Dhaka Station commander Wng Cdr Ghulam Haider. Sitting from left the first man is Flt Lt Farooq Feroz Khan (later became Air Chief), 2nd from left is Flt Lt A.T.M Aziz, he was the first Shaheed of No.14 Sqn in 1965 war. Sitting 3rd from left is Flg Off A.K Baseer, a member of team that conducted strike over Kalikunda. 4th from left is Flg. Off Afzal Khan who embraced Shahadat near Kalaikunda, this was the second and last casualty suffered by the unit in the war.

No.14 Squadron equipped with 12 F-86F aircraft was the only squadron of PAF deployed in the West Pakistan compared to 10 IAF squadrons stationed near West Pakistan.  During the war, strikes on IAF bases Kalaikunda (2 strikes) ,Bagdogra, Barrackpore, and Agartala were a crucial blow to IAF morale. No.14 Squadron’s 1965 war total score included 10 Canberra, 5 transport aircraft, 2 Hunters and 1 helicopter destroyed, while damaging 4 Canberra and 1 Hunter.

Flight lines of B-57/RB-57 aircraft. Both B-57 and RB-57 proved vital in offensive operations in 1965 war.

Flight lines of B-57/RB-57 aircraft. Both B-57 and RB-57 proved vital in offensive operations in 1965 war. Air field strike and deep interdiction was the task assigned to both B-57 units. RB-57 induction in 1956 brought the capability of climbing up to 72,000ft along with the ability to remain in air for 10hrs.

B-57s from No.7 Sqn conducted deep strike missions inside Indian Territory and earned 12 gallantry awards: 7 Sitara-e-Jurat. B-57s from No.8 Sqn, under the command of Sqn Ldr Rais A Rafi conducted successful counter-air  operations over Indian airfields at Jamangar and Jodhpur in south; Ambala, Adampur, Halwara and Pathankot in the north. B-57s also provided both day and night CAS to Pak-army troops. B-57 pilots Sqn Ldr Alam Siddiqui and Sqn Ldr Aslam Quershi (Navigator) also laid their lives during strike on Jamangar air field, 7 Sep 1965.

No.9 Sqn equipped with Mach 2 supersonic F-104 Strafighter was credited with five kills during the 1965 war No.9 Sqn, led by Sqn Ldr Mervyn L Middlecoat (seen in right along with AM Nur Khan)  proved its mettle in air defence, fighter escort and recce mission

No.9 Sqn, led by Sqn Ldr Mervyn L Middlecoat (seen in right along with AM Nur Khan)  proved its mettle in air defence, fighter escort and recce mission. No.9 Sqn equipped with Mach 2 supersonic F-104 Strafighter was credited with five kills during the war, i.e.

Date PAF Pilot Kills/aircraft Kill type/Time/Area
6 September 1965 Flt. Lt. Aftab Alam Khan 1x IAF Mystere IVA(World’s first air-to-air kill by a Mach 2 aircraft.) Wazirabad sector, Pakistan.AIM-9 Sidewinder kill
7 September 1965 Flt. Lt. Amjad Hussain Khan 2x IAF Mystere IVA Sargodha, Pakistan at 0539 hours.Gun kill
13/14 September 1965 Sqn. Ldr Mervyn Leslie Middlecoat 1x IAF Canberra B(I) 58 Bomber India, AIM-9 Sidewinder kill
21/22 September 1965 Sqn. Ldr. Jamal A. Khan 1x IAF Canberra B(I) 58 Bomber Fazilka, India at 0409 hours.AIM-9 Sidewinder kill

 

F-104 Strafighter equipped with AIM-9B Sidewinder missile on wingtip pylons

F-104 Strafighter equipped with AIM-9B Sidewinder missile on wingtip pylons. AIM-9 missile brought a a new era of dog-fighting in PAF, although they were not very accurate but they do proved to be a deterrent factor for Pakistan.

 

Kamra base attack: some thoughts

On the night of August 15 and the Holy night of 27th Ramadan a bunch of militants pounded the heart of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base Minhas situated at Kamra, this is also the place where Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) a leading aviation and defence production centre of Pakistanis located.

The intruders were not just a bunch of well trained, twisted-minded terrorists who could jump in the fire for fun. Neither was it a random attack by suicide bombers with loads of ammunition in their backpacks. It was deliberate and well-planned attack that was precisely executed and skilfully targeted. Unlike most of the earlier attacks on Pakistani forces the targets were not the soldiers.

The terrorists adopted the same mission profile they used in attack on PNS Mehran at Karachi on 22 May 2011, in which terrorists took advantage of civilian populated section of the base, using night as a cover, military uniforms for deception, lethal and automatic weapons like Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) for quick and precise attack. They were aided by modern equipment like Night Vision Goggles (NVG) for better situational awareness at night. Furthermore, this time terrorists took the advantage of strategic surprise by attacking on the Holy night of 27 Ramadan…any practicing Muslim would have been praying that night. Arabs did the same with the Israelis in the Yom Kippur War 1973. Attack on Yom Kippur, an important religious day for Jews, caught the Israeli forces by surprise and the advancing Arab forces accrued great advantage from this tactic.
The Kamra attack raises two major questions: why Minhas Air Force Base (AFB)? And why attack air surveillance systems only?

Minhas AFB is one of the most important air bases of PAF. The major part of the geographic location is shared by PAC, which comprises of four factories i.e. Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF), Avionics Production Factory (APF), Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) and Aircraft Rebuild Factory (ARF). These factories build, repair and overhaul major weapons systems of PAF including JF-17 Thunder, Mirage-III/V, F-7P/PG, K-8, Mushshak/Super Mushshak aircraft, low-level and high-level radar systems and engine overhaul of C-130, Y-12 and Boeing-777 aircraft.

Minhas AFB is home to two operational fighter squadrons (namely No.14 squadron equipped with Chinese F-7P aircraft and No.16 squadron with Pak-China JF-17 Thunder aircraft), a Search and Rescue Squadron with Alouette-III helicopters and an air-surveillance squadron comprising of Saab-2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AEW&C). Some C-130 transport aircraft and IL-78 Multirole tanker and transport aircraft are also stationed on the base.

Minhas AFB is located near densely populated city of Attock. Back in 1974, it was amongst the lowest populated areas of the district Attock. Today various villages are situated in the outskirts of the base…For reader’s interest; the main road of PAC (on which all four factories are located) was fully open to public till the suicide attack on the road of the base in late 2007.

All these reasons made Minhas AFB the prized target for terrorists. Now coming to the second question i.e. why attack air surveillance systems only?
As mentioned in the beginning of this article that the terrorists adopted mission profile used in attack on PNS Mehran, in which RPG were fired on P-3 Orion Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. That resulted in complete destruction of two of such systems and one Sea King Helicopter as well.

Just like P-3 Orions of Pak Navy (PN), Saab-2000 AEW&C aircraft are very expensive, long range air-surveillance systems. The Saab-2000 AEW&C has a range of up to 450km. It can provide battlefield picture, information about enemy targets (in air, land or sea), enhance situation awareness of combat fleet of PAF by sharing target information. Also, it can continuously remain in the air for a very long period of time.

Saab-2000 AEW&C is not a system to be used in on-going fight in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). It is an India-centric system. The long-range, high-endurance and deep radar coverage capability of Saab-2000 AEW&C can challenge India’s air superiority in the region. This aircraft is a part of Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) network centric system of PAF. For India, achieving air-superiority without getting the best of such air surveillance systems is not possible. Air battles of today and future will not entirely rely on well-equipped fighter units penetrating enemy air space. The network centric system of war, which includes AEW&C systems sharing battlefield information with fighter units, ground units and battleships will form the order of battle. Now, AEW&C systems are not much of a threat for militants. The question to ponder upon is: are the terrorists attacking Pakistan’s AEW&C and surveillance systems at the behest of another country? This takes state sponsoring of terrorism at a whole new level. It is a manifestation of sub-conventional warfare. What would Pakistani decision-makers do to counter this strategic nightmare? My sense is that they will have to go to whatever limits they consider essential, in their threat perception.

To address these challenges, Pakistani armed forces have to beef up the security of its military installations. Particularly, all those bases with force multiplier systems and air-surveillance systems should be given extra security. All those military bases with residential areas in their outskirts need to be monitored on routinely basis. One must complement the Air Force for a job very well done, as there is no room for complacency. In the present on-going security situation we cannot be relaxed at any given time. Multi-layered security should be made possible in all areas of bases…One thing is for sure, the attackers don’t use the front door anymore.
God bless Pakistan. Amen

A slightly different version of this article was published in The Express Tribune, August 19, 2012. Link

PAF’s Shahbaz Air Base in 2012

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.

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.

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.

No.5 Multi Role Sqn operates 18 F-16C/D Block-52 aircraft.

f-16_mid_life_update_shahbaz

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.

8th Pakistani F-16 pilot joins 2000hrs club

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.

Wng Cdr Ghazanfar 2000hrs F-16

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.

F-16 Fighting Falcon 2000hrs patch

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

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.