Defence Day Air show 2015 – Fatima Jinnah Park Islamabad

To celebrate 50th anniversary of Pakistani armed forces victory of 1956 war, an  airshow was organised at  Fatima Jinnah Park, F-9, Islamabad. The day reminds us of professionalism and bravery of Pakistani soldiers to decimate enemy’s monstrous forces.

PAF in particular ensured air guards of Pakistani frontiers and despatched the enemy forces back from where they had come. The day also reminds us of those who went on missions – never to return.

F-9 Park airshow Summary:

1130hrs:  High Speed Run by Mirage-III
1132hrs: Super Mushshak aerobatics
1139hrs: Sherdils display
1148hrs: JF-17 Thunder, 26 Sqn
1155hrs: F-16 MLU, 9 Sqn
1202hrs: AS350 Écureuil aerobatics (Pak Army)                                                                                                                            [ All photos credits: Abid Khan]

C-130 & Alouette

No.6 Sqn C-130 (Callsign “Stranger12”) provided air surveillance of venue prior to the airshow. The aircraft was seen flying at altitude of 9000-10,000 ft. Alouette-III from Search-And-Rescue unit provided Metro-logical support.

Mirages Sonic Boom

Two low-level flying Mirage-IIIEL aircraft kicked off the airshow with a massive sonic boom followed by vertical High-G maneuver polished by released of flares. Both aircraft took the audience by surprise & faded away in less than 15 seconds.

 

 

Super MushshakSuper Mushshak (Serial # 97-6394) of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex showed its potential & maneuvering skills. PAC has exhibited the aircraft in various airshows in Middle East in the past; recently it participated in Bucharest International Air Show (BIAS) in Romania in June. The aircraft has cruising speed of 130kts (240km/hr) and comes with internationally reputed Dyon and Garmin cockpit instrumentation technology. Mushshak can carry weapons / bombs on six external stations and can also perform border patrol duties.

Sherdils - K-8 9- Sherdils from PAF Academy Risalpur brought colours to the airshow. The team showed their precise flying, sharp reflexes and exceptional piloting skills in maneuvering the aircraft in close formations. The team’s menu remained the same since its inception in 1974 i.e. line astern to diamond formation during a loop, then clover-leaf, steep turn, barrel roll and finally, the breath-taking bomb-burst. In Sherdils, 6 aircraft perform where as three aircraft perform the initial run-in and break-off in a linear bomburst over the venue.

JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's PridePakistan’s pride JF-17 Thunder (Serial # 09-111) flown by O/C 26 MR Sqn brought the WoW factor  to the airshow. The aircraft flew various fast passes, slow passes, fast rolls and inverted roll in its 7-min performance.

JF-17 Thunder has been inducted in 3 combat squadrons of PAF, with a 4th unit gearing up to receive this aircraft. The success of Pak-China JF-17 Thunder has brought an affordable Multi-Role combat aircraft not only to PAF but to many Middle Eastern & Asia countries who are looking for replacement of their combat fleet with state-of-the-art fighter aircraft. Recently Myanmar has signed at deal for purchase of one squadron of this aircraft.

F-16 Fighting FalconThe legendary F-16 Fighting Falcon flown by O/C No.9 MR Sqn stole the airshow with its breathtaking performance. The pilot exhibited aircraft’s maneuverability in tight turns, slow-speed pass. On the peak of display, the aircraft comes down to low level and performed max-performance turn…taking Islamabad by a storm!

 

As-350 Ecuriel, PAAFollowed by PAF performances were  AS350 Écureuil aerobatics of Pak Army Aviation wing and flight of Special Services Group (SSG) commandoes hanging from slings with AS-332 Super Puma aircraft. Motor-glider flight by PAF Academy Risalpur and para-trooping by special forces units of all three forces dropped from C-130 aircraft at about 10,000 ft brought more colours to the airshow.

( Click on photos to enlarge )

AS-332, PAA & SSGF-16 Fighting Falcon Super Mushshak, PAC Super Mushshak, PAC

Sherdils - K-8  Sherdils - K-8 Sherdils - K-8

Sherdils - K-8Sherdils - K-8 Sherdils - K-8 Sherdils - K-8

JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride JF-17 Thunder - Pakistan's Pride  F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting FalconF-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting FalconF-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon

 

 

Indo-Pak 1965 war – Newspapers & international papers accounts

Following is compilation of Newspapers scans & international papers accounts witnessing annihilation of Indian Air Force (IAF) in the hands of well trained Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

1965 war - Newspapers & international papers accounts

Dawn Newspaper, 7 Sept 1965

Dawn Newspaper - 19 Sept, 1965

Dawn Newspaper – 19 Sept, 1965

The Pakistan Times, 24 Sept, 1965

The Pakistan Times, 24 Sept, 1965

Nawa-e-Waqt, 7 Oct 1965

Nawa-e-Waqt, 7 Oct 1965

Dawn Newspaper, 11 Sept 1965

Dawn Newspaper, 11 Sept 1965

General (Retd.) Chuck Yeager (USAF) writes in his book: “Yeager, the Autobiography”.

 “The air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored athree-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jetsand losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I’m certain about thefigures because I went out several times a day in a chopper andcounted the wrecks below.” “They were really good, aggre

ssivedogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I wasdamned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. “

 famous USAF test pilot, on deputation in Pakistan as US Defense Representative. The PAF remains the onlyforeign air force in the world to have received Chuck Yeager’sadmiration – a recommendation which the PAF is proud of.

“As an air defence analyst, I am fully aware that the Pakistan AirForce ranks today as one of the best air forces in the world and thatthe PAF Combat Commanders’ School (CCS) in Sargodha has been rankedas the best GCI/pilot and fighter tactics and weapons school in theworld”. As one senior US defence analyst commented to me in 1991, “itleaves Topgun

(the US Naval Air Station in Miramar, California) far behind”.-

Sergey Vekhov May 1993 issue (pages 46-47) of Airforces Monthly, a reputable UK-based air defence magazine

The PAF, although outnumbered by IAF(Indian Air Force), has at leastone qualitative edge over its rival: Pilot Training. The caliber of Pakistani instructors is acknowledged by numerous air forces, and US Navy pilots considered them to be highly ‘professional’ during exercises flying off the USS Constellation (as co-pilots).

-Jane’s International Defense (June 24, 1998)

 “By all accounts the courage displayed by the Pakistan Air Force pilots is reminiscent of the bravery of the few young and dedicated pilots who saved this country from Nazi invaders in the critical Battle of Britain during the last war.”

Patrick Seale,The Observer, London,September 12, 1965.

“Pakistan claims to have destroyed something like 1/3rd the IndianAir Force, and foreign observers, who are in a position to know say that Pakistani pilots have claimed even higher kills than this; but the Pakistani Air Force are being scrupulously honest in evaluating these claims. They are crediting Pakistan Air Force only thosekillings that can be checked from other sources.”

Roy Meloni,American Broadcasting CorporationSeptember 15, 1965.

The London Daily Mirror reported: “There is a smell of death in theburning Pakistan sun. For it was here that India’s attacking forcescame to a dead stop.

 “During the night they threw in every reinforcement they could find.But wave after wave of attacks were repulsed by the Pakistanis”  “India”, said the London Daily Times, “is being soundly beaten by anation which is outnumbered by four and a half to one in populationand three to one in size of armed forces.”

In Times reporter Louis Karrar wrote: “Who can defeat a nation whichknows how to play hide and seek with death”.

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Some memories from 1965 war…

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

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.