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    History of paf

    HISTORY OF PAF

    In 1933, British colonial government of India established the subcontinent’s first Air Force station near Drigh Road, now called PAF Base Faisal. In 1934, this element of the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) was extended to the north for operations in NWFP. The RIAF had also contributed to the defeat of Japanese invasion during World War II.

    In 1947, the British left sub-continent after dividing it into two sovereign states of India and Pakistan. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was born immediately afterwards. Distribution of military assets between the new states was to follow. However, India with an inherent resentment towards the creation of Pakistan tried to subvert our capabilities by crippling Pakistan militarily. It denied the then Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) even the officially agreed small portions of weapons, equipment and aircraft allocated by departing British as its legitimate share. Much of what was eventually received from India was inoperable. Crates of equipment contained nothing but scrap and waste. The RPAF got 16 fighter aircraft as its foundation. It started off with one squadron of eight Tempest aircraft and a small remnant of No 1 Squadron Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) which was subsequently utilized to raise No 5 Squadron.

    Within three weeks of independence, Indian hegemonic designs sparked off the first war between Pakistan and India. Pakistan’s young air arm was called upon to fly supply missions with one of the two war weary Dakotas. Contending with the unpredictable weather, the difficult terrain, and the enemy fighters was an uphill task. The strength was replenished with two more Dakotas only as the skirmishes resumed the following winters. In the narrow valleys of Kashmir, the stirring tale of Flying Officer Mukhtar Dogar defiantly scissoring his lumbering Dakota with pursuing RIAF Tempests taking pot-shots at him defined the fighting doctrine of the PAF, defend Pakistan and learn to fight outnumbered. Within the span of a year this young air force had completed 437 mercy drops, delivering more than 500 tons of supplies and food.

    Whilst these brave pioneers were documenting the historic beginning of PAF, the force was faced with the enigma of finding aircraft to fly. However, despite the lack of funds and market places, PAF entered the jet age in August, 1951 with the induction of British built Attackers. Until mid-1950s PAF’s fighter force comprised nearly 100 Hawker Furies and a dwindling number of Tempests. Then, the first air defence radar was installed and the PAF was rapidly setting up its own advanced flying and technical training institutions. F-86 Sabers and T-33 jet trainers were inducted in PAF as a result of the United States (US) aid.

    From 1955 to1965, the Air Force armed its squadrons with the most modern jet fighters and bombers, Sabers and F-104 Starfighters as fighters, B-57s as bombers and the ubiquitous C-130s as transport fleet. The seven years of rigorous training with realistic threat perception, planning and preparation had enabled PAF to inflict a humiliating defeat on the enemy in 1965 when the mutual hostility of the rival neighbours escalated into a war. PAF struck hard its rival and kept it reeling under tactics of shock and unpredictability. Many victories came to PAF pilots who exacted an even retribution on the enemy, leaving it in total disarray. At the end of the war, India had lost 110 aircraft with 19 damaged, not including those destroyed on the ground at night, against a loss of 16 PAF planes. Thus the outnumbered PAF emerged triumphant over a four times larger force, its air defence controllers, engineers, logisticians and hands just as much the heroes as its pilots.

    The third war between the South Asian foes began when, in December 1971, the Indian Army crossed into East Pakistan and from the encircling air Bases ten squadrons of the IAF challenged the PAF’s only squadron, No 14, located at Dhaka. The Tail Choppers of 1965 rose heroically to meet the aggressors, and before their squadron was grounded by a bombed out runway, they and their ack ack gunners had destroyed 23 IAF aircraft. The PAF’s Mirages, B-57s, Sabers, F-6s and a few F-104s spearheaded Pakistan’s retaliation from the west. At war’s end IAF had lost 130 aircraft in all. The three-to-one kill ratio that Pakistan scored, however, could not prevent the tragic fall of Dhaka. The trauma of separation of East Pakistan and a preventable military catastrophe affected all Pakistanis deeply and lingered long afterwards. However a stoic recovery was brisk. PAF soon reorganised and reequipped assimilating the new threat environment on the sub-continent.

    During the Afghan war in the eighties, PAF had to keep a constant vigil on its western border. Despite the fact that PAF was not allowed hot pursuit into Afghanistan, the pilots and the ground controllers together managed to shoot down eight Soviet/Afghan aircraft without a single own loss.

    The post-Afghan war period witnessed a resource constraint with the drying up of traditional sources. The immediate need for induction of a hi-tech aircraft was one part of the crises; the sheer sustenance of the fleet was another. Due to economic constraints, PAF went for cost effective purchases like A-5 aircraft and such upgrades as the ROSE, which gave the old Mirages very good nav-attack, weapon delivery, and other capabilities. With this, self-reliance picked up pace and PAF worked on Griffo radar, Mistral and Anza missiles simultaneously. To keep the ageing weapon systems & aircraft from becoming obsolete, chaff and flares dispensers, radar warning receivers, and laser automation for better weapon delivery were added to the old aircrafts.

    The succeeding years witnessed many significant developments including the milestones achieved by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra such as F-7P overhaul, aircraft engines maintenance, the co–production of K-8 and Super Mushshaq aircraft, the quality standards achieved by Kamra Avionics and Radar Factory. Project JF-17 Thunder was conceived to replace the PAF’s ageing, medium-tech fleet of Mirages, F-7, and A-5 aircraft that would progressively retire from service. It is planned to be a multi-role, light-weight day/night all weather fighter. It would be able to attack ground targets and ships, and engage enemy aircraft at considerable ranges. The aircraft will be inducted in PAF by 2006 and will be co-produced at PAC Kamra. This technological edge will secure both better national security environment and economic benefits for the country.

    Today, new maintenance concepts and facilities are based on a more direct communication, optimum use of software database and reliable electronic networks. Accompanying the technological developments, education and training are duly accentuated with special emphasis on R & D.

    In the wake of war on terrorism and with the reality of living with an implacable opponent, Pakistan Air Force keeps on an all-time vigil. During Ops- Sentinel 2001-2002, when India had amassed its forces on Pak borders, PAF remained ready for dealing a telling blow to the enemy.

    Derived from the national military objectives, the PAF leadership has clearly visualised and laid down the operational doctrine for the nation’s air arm. PAF takes its pick of the finest young people in the land. It has now acquired new depths of human skills and initiative. Together, all branches of PAF are delivering unprecedented serviceability rates and efficient management of all resources. Poised on the threshold of tomorrow, PAF remains, as the Quaid said, “Second to None”; fully abreast with the requisite will and mechanism to live by its standards in the coming millennium and beyond.

    http://www.paf.gov.pk/history.html

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    Lightbulb Pakistan Air Force - History & Information

    Pakistan Air Force History



    In 1933, British colonial government of India established the subcontinent's first Air Force station near Drigh Road, now called PAF Base Faisal. In 1934, this element of the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) was extended to the north for operations in NWFP. The RIAF had also contributed to the defeat of Japanese invasion during World War II.

    In 1947, the British left sub-continent after dividing it into two sovereign states of India and Pakistan. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) came into existence on 15th of August 1947, a day after Pakistan gained its independence. Distribution of military assets between the new states was to follow. However, India with an inherent resentment towards the creation of Pakistan tried to subvert our capabilities by crippling Pakistan militarily. It denied the then Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) even the officially agreed small portions of weapons, equipment and aircraft allocated by departing British as its legitimate share. Much of what was eventually received from India was inoperable. Crates of equipment contained nothing but scrap and waste.

    Originally 56 aircraft were transferred from Indian Air Force. This transfer comprised of Austers, Dakotas, Harvards, Tempests and Tiger Moths. These aircraft were used to form three squadrons and an AOP flight and a communications flight. Pakistan inherited most of its structure from Royal Air Force. Most of its original officers were RAF men. The RPAF got 16 fighter aircraft as its foundation. It started off with one squadron of eight Tempest aircraft and a small remnant of No 1 Squadron Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) which was subsequently utilized to raise No 5 Squadron.

    While these brave pioneers were documenting the historic beginning of PAF, the force was faced with the enigma of finding aircraft to fly. However, despite the lack of funds and market places, PAF entered the jet age in August, 1951 with the induction of British built Attackers. Until mid-1950s PAF's fighter force comprised nearly 100 Hawker Furies and a dwindling number of Tempests. Then, the first air defence radar was installed and the PAF was rapidly setting up its own advanced flying and technical training institutions.

    Soon afterwards Pakistan turned towards USA for Air Force hardware. And for this Pakistan expected to obtain a spectrum of aircraft from the USA. F-86 Sabers and T-33 jet trainers were inducted in PAF as a result of the United States (US) aid. From 1955 to 1965, the Air Force armed its squadrons with the most modern jet fighters and bombers, Sabers and F-104 Starfighters as fighters, B-57s as bombers and the ubiquitous C-130s as transport fleet.

    Air Marshall Nur Khan was a dashing commander who believed in leading from the front. He also flew in some of the risky sorties and this further inspired PAF into a truly extraordinary performance by any means in 1965. However valor can only do so much and it was the focused training and discipline which were the hallmark of Air Marshall Asghar Khan's tenure (57 to 65) which turned PAF into a lean mean killing machine. Asghar Khan was a very thorough professional and he can be called the true founding father of PAF.

    During the 1965 War Pakistan was put under an arms embargo by the USA. After the 1965 War, Pakistan turned towards China and France to rebuild its war damaged air force. China supplied Shenyang F-6s (MiG-19s), which were both donated and purchased. From France Pakistan Purchased 24 Mirage IIIs. Also Pakistan aquired 90 F-86 Sabres through Iran after the war.

    After the 1971 war Pakistan again turned towards China to re-supply its air force. PAF ordered two batches of 60 F-6s to replace its F-86s, which were delivered between 1972 and 1977. Along with F-6s - FT-5s were dilivered for advanced pilot training. After the war Pakistan recieved 28 or more Mirage 5s which were ordered before the war, plus the 10 Mirage III RPs ordered after the war. A dozen and a half other Mirages were procured from Lebenon and France to build up numbers.

    The F-104's life in the PAF was cut short by the United States Government's "even-handed" arms embargo on both Pakistan and India after the 1965 and 1971 wars. Washington chose to ignore the fact that India, a long-time ally of the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, did not possess any American military equipment and the sanctions thus exclusively penalized the armed force of Pakistan. In the face of increasing difficulty in obtaining spares, the PAF finally decided in mid-1972 to phase out the starfighters. The PAF's F-104s were somewhat unique. While being the lightest among the starfighters in combat configuration, the more powerful J-79-IIA engines gave them additional manoeuvre energy. The 20mm Galling gun, retrofitted to the PAF's F-104s by specific request, also added to the fighter's combat effectiveness. Many heavyhearted airmen and officers of No 9 Squadron witnessed the farewell flight, some of them served in the Squadron for two wars. From among the Squadron's veteran pilots, the two took up the Starfighters for the last time.

    The most visible form of aid from the US were the first batch of F-16s. Which also turned out to be the last. Pakistan also bought Chinese F-7s and A-5s most likely with US aid. The most likely reason why PAF only chose to make F-16s record public was the aid it was recieving from the USA and it wanted to show that Pakistan needed those F-16s to protect its airspace. Pakistan got through this difficult time with keeping vigilant eyes on its frontiers.

    Pakistan once again concentrated on modernizing its air force. PAF ordered 71 new F-16s and 100 plus F-7s to replace aging F-6s. Also Pakistan bought 40 or so Mirage III Os from Australia to increase its Mirage force which is the second largest now after France itself. Along with these procurements Pakistan also entered into two developmental programs with China. One of them the K-8 advanced jet trainer/ light attack aircraft has shown magnificent results. The other project originally known as Super-7 ran into several setbacks most noticeably the US sanctions against China after the Tianamen Square massacre. Pakistan has also purchased 40 or so Mirages to cover the advanced fighter gap.

    The post-Afghan war period witnessed a resource constraint with the drying up of traditional sources. The immediate need for induction of a hi-tech aircraft was one part of the crises; the sheer sustenance of the fleet was another. Due to economic constraints, PAF went for cost effective purchases like A-5 aircraft and such upgrades as the ROSE, which gave the old Mirages very good nav-attack, weapon delivery, and other capabilities. With this, self-reliance picked up pace and PAF worked on Griffo radar, Mistral and Anza missiles simultaneously. To keep the ageing weapon systems & aircraft from becoming obsolete, chaff and flares dispensers, radar warning receivers, and laser automation for better weapon delivery were added to the old aircrafts.

    As of 1999 the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was organized into eighteen squadrons, with a total of 430 combat aircraft. The mainstay of the air force is the F-16 fighter. Of the 40 aircraft originally acquired, 34 are in service, divided among 3 squadrons. Pakistan has an additional 71 F-16s on order, but delivery had been suspended since 1990 by the United States. Other interceptors include 8 Interceptor squadrons of 160 F-7Ps, 7 Fighter/Ground Attack squadrons of 70 F-6s, 60Q/A5s, 18 Mirage IIIs and 58 Mirage Vs and 1 Recce squadron of 12 Mirage IIPRs, thus constituting a total of 19 squadrons. For transport purposes PAF has 2 squadrons of 16 C-130 Hercules', 1 Lockheed L-100, 1 F-27 and 1 FALCON2+ aircraft for VIP duties. Training aircrafts include 4 squadrons of 80 MFI-17Bs, 25 FT-5s, T-37s, 11 F-16Bs, 15 FT-7Ps, 2 Mirage IIDPs, and 20+ K-8s. Pakistan also has ALOUETTE and PUMA helicopters. Air-to-air missiles include the Exocet, Sparrow, Sidewinder, and Magic.

    The succeeding years witnessed many significant developments including the milestones achieved by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra such as F-7P overhaul, aircraft engines maintenance, the co-production of K-8 and Super Mushshaq aircraft, the quality standards achieved by Kamra Avionics and Radar Factory. Project JF-17 Thunder was conceived to replace the PAF's ageing, medium-tech fleet of Mirages, F-7, and A-5 aircraft that would progressively retire from service. It is planned to be a multi-role, light-weight day/night all weather fighter. It would be able to attack ground targets and ships, and engage enemy aircraft at considerable ranges. The aircraft was inducted in PAF by 2006 and co-produced at PAC Kamra.

    Today, new maintenance concepts and facilities are based on a more direct communication, optimum use of software database and reliable electronic networks. Accompanying the technological developments, education and training are duly accentuated with special emphasis on R & D.

    In the wake of war on terrorism and with the reality of living with an implacable opponent, Pakistan Air Force keeps on an all-time vigil. During Ops- Sentinel 2001-2002, when India had amassed its forces on Pak borders, PAF remained ready for dealing a telling blow to the enemy.

    On November 20, 2008 Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmad said 36 high-tech combat aircraft (CF-20) would be inducted into the PAF fleet by 2010. He said that modalities were being discussed to acquire two squadrons of the aircraft for the PAF. He said the FC-20 aircraft had been selected after hectic and lengthy deliberations besides considering a long list of the similar category aircraft of various origins.
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    AIR FORCE
    SYSTEM Inventory
    1990 1995 2000 2002 2005 2008 2010 2015 2020
    AIRCRAFT
    COMBAT 380 370 315 310 315 335 383 420 400
    FC-20 [J-10] - - - - - - 36 40 40
    JF-17 - - - - - 2 8 150 275
    F-16C/D - - - - - - 1 18 36
    F-16A/B 39 34 34 32 32 46 46 48 48
    Mirage 5PA/PA2/PA3 54 54 52 52 52 50 50 50 -
    Mirage IIIEP 18 18 13 13 13 63 63 63 -
    Mirage IIIO 30 30 43 43 43 - - - -
    A-5C (Q-5-III) 50 49 45 42 42 41 41 - -
    F-7PG (F-7MG) - - - - 55 55 54 50 -
    F-7P 40 79 77 77 77 77 75 - -
    F-6 150 100 40 40 - - - - -
    RECON
    Mirage IIIR/RP 12 12 11 11 15 15 15 15 15
    AWACS
    Saab 2000 AEWC - - - - - - 2 4 4
    Y-8 AEW - - - - - - 2 4 4
    EW / ELINT
    Falcon DA-20 - - - 2 2 2 2 2 2
    Tanker
    Il-78 MIDAS - - - - - - 2 4 4
    TRANSPORT
    TRANSPORT - Large Jet
    Boeing 707 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 3
    Boeing 737 - - 1 1 - - - - -
    TRANSPORT - Small Jet
    Gulfstream 450 - - - - - 2 2 2 2
    Cessna 560 Citation - - 1 1 - - - - -
    Falcon DA-20 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    TRANSPORT - Large Prop
    An-26 - - - - 1 1 1 1 1
    C-130E 7 7 7 7 7 13 11 11 11
    C-130B 5 5 5 5 5 - - - -
    L-100 1 1 1 1 1 - - - -
    CN-235 - - - - 4 4 4 4 4
    F-27-200* 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
    Y-12-II - - 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
    TRANSPORT - Small Prop
    B-200 King Air - - - 1 1 1 1 1 1
    Beech Travel Air 1 1 - - - - - - -
    Beech F-33 Bonanza - - - - 1 1 1 1 1
    Beech Baron 1 1 - - - - - - -
    Cessna 172 - - 4 4 - - - - -
    TRAINING
    Trainer - Jet
    K-8 - 6 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
    FT-7 (JJ-7 / MiG-21) - - 13 13 13 20 19 19 19
    FT-6 (JJ-6 / MiG-19) - - 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
    FT-5 (JJ-5 / MiG-17) 30 30 30 30 30 25 25 25 25
    T-37B/C 53 44 30 20 20 20 20 20 20
    T-33A 10 10 - - - - - - -
    Mig-15UTI 6 6 - - - - - - -
    Trainer - Prop
    MFI-395 Mashshaq-2 - - - - - - - - -
    MFI-17/B Mashshaq 45 45 40 40 80 80 80 80 80
    CJ-6 (PT-6A) 12 12 - - - - - - -
    HELICOPTER
    Mi-171 - - - - - 4 8 16 16
    SA-315B - 12 - - - - - - -
    SA-316 / SA-319 12 12 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
    SA-321 4 4 - - - - - - -
    MISSILES
    ASM
    AM-39 Exocet + + + + + + + + +
    AGM-65 Maverick - - + + + + + + +
    AS-30 - - + + - - - - -
    AGM-84 Harpoon - - + + - - - - -
    AAM
    AIM-7 Sparrow + + + + - - - - -
    AIM-9 Sidewinder + + - - - - - - -
    AIM-9L/P Sidewinder - - + + + + + + +
    R-530/Super 530 + + + + + + + + +
    R-550 Magic + + - - + - - - -
    ARM
    AGM-88 Harm - - + + + - - - -
    SAM
    Crotale 36 144 144 144 144 144 144 144 144
    CSA-1 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
    SA-16 - - - - - + + + +
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    Pakistan Air Force Bases

    PAF bases are located all along the frontiers of Pakistan in such a way that PAF is able to immediately respond to any escalating peace or war time situation. Major operational bases are located at Rafiqui (Shorkot), Masroor (Karachi), Samungli (Quetta), Minhas (Kamra), Peshawar and PAF Base Mushaf (Sargodha), in the name of ACM. Mushaf Ali Mir, Shaheed. Over the years, the PAF has developed an array of training facilities. Notable among these are PAF Academy, Risalpur; PAF Air War College; Combat Commanders' School; Air Defence Traning School; Air Defence System School; Transport Conversion School; Helicopter Training School; Para Training School; Survival Training School; School of Intelligence; Pre-trade Training School; Administrative Trade Training School and School of logistics; (Kohat), School of Aeronautics and School of Electronics (Korangi).

    The flying operations of the Air Force are carried out and supported by a number of operational, training and maintenance Air Bases located all over the country. The respective Base Commanders are responsible for the operational readiness and combat efficiency of their Bases. These operational Bases are placed under three regional Air Commands, viz, Northern, Central and Southern, each commanded by an Air Officer Commanding (AOC) who is responsible to the Chief of the Air Staff. The field command structure is designed to ensure coordination among the various fighting elements of the three services as well as understanding of one another's role in the defence of the country. Each Base embodies a well-knit community of officers and men who operate and maintain the various weapon systems of the Air Force and is well equipped to cater for all the needs of the personnel deployed there. An Air Base is not only a place of work but a home for its personnel.

    Major Operational Bases are fully functional bases from which aircraft operate during peacetime. They have complete infrastructure of hardened shelters, control towers, workshops, ordnance depots etc. These are ten in number.
    Forward Operational Bases are active during peacetime and become fully operational during wartime. These are the bases on which the planes are dispersed during war. They are capable of supporting almost all types of missions. They are generally lightly manned during peace time and are usually activated during excercises or some national crisis. They are thirteen in number.
    Satellite bases are used for emergency landing and recovery of aircraft during both peacetime and wartime. They have a very small infrastructure and are either lightly manned or unmanned. They are nine in number.
    Ground Installations are other training and radar bases that do not have a runway and other landing facilities. They are six in number.

    In addition there some two dozen other civilian airfields in Pakistan that could be used for landing and recovery of military aircraft during both peace and war. While some are full-fledged civilian airports, others consist of little more than a single runway and modest support facilities. Most are can be used by jet-fighter aircraft, and all can handle medium-sized tactical transports.

    75 with permanent-surface runways
    1 with runways over 3,659 m
    30 with runways 2,440-3,659 m
    43 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

    Commemorative Airbase Names

    PAF Base Minhas Kamra Named after Plt Off Rashid Minhas Nishan - i - Haider who laid down his life on 20 August, 1971 in a T-33 hijacked by his instructor intending to fly it to India.
    PAF Base Mushaf Sargodha Named after Air Chf Mshl Mushaf Ali Mir, Chief of the Air Staff, who received "Shahadat" in an air crash on 20 Feb, 2003.
    PAF Base Rafiqui Shorkot Road Named after Sqn Ldr Rafiqui who laid down his life in action against IAF during 1965 war.
    PAF Base Masroor Karachi Named after Air Cdre Masroor Hussain, who received "Shahadat" in an air crash in June, 1967 while commanding PAF Mauripur.
    PAF Base Faisal Karachi Named after Late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia
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    Initially the credibility of Pakistan's nuclear deterrent depended not on its limited-range missiles, but on the survivability of its strike aircraft. In peacetime the bulk of Pakistan's combat aircraft are concentraed in seven air bases. However, there are roughly 30 airfields at which Pakistani nuclear-equiped aircraft could be based, vastly complicating Indian counterforce attack planning.

    The two units operating the Chinese-built A-5 [No. 16 Sqn and No. 26 Sqn], an aircraft believed to be a leading candidate for the aerial delivery of nuclear weapons, were reportedly stationed at PAF Masroor in early 1998. By late 1999 they had reportedly been re-deployed to PAF Peshawar. The Pakistani Air Force currently operates some 180 Mirage aircraft of various configurations, equiping four operational squadrons [No. 5, No. 7, No. 8, No. 22 (OCU)] and a Combat Command School training squadron. Pakistan obtained 43 used Mirage IIIOs and 7 Mirage IIIODs from Australia in 1990, and purchased another 40 reconditioned Mirage IIIEs from France in 1996. The allocation of these 90 aircraft is not evidently reflected in published order of battle tables.

    Airbase Locale Lattitude Longitude Facility Command Wing Squadron Aircraft AC #
    PAF Badin grnd
    Bandari 27�51'16"N 65�10'8"E civil
    PAF Bhagtanwala sat
    PAF Chaklala Rawalpindi 33�37'13"N 73�05'43"E MOB No.35 (Composite Air Transport) Wing
    No. 6 Sqn C-130 14
    No.12 Sqn B707, Falcon, F-27 6
    No.41 Sqn Cessna, Aero, Beach 3
    No.455 Sqn Crotale SAM
    No.??? Sqn HQ-2B SAM
    PAF Chander 32�04'47"N 73�47'24"E sat
    PAF Chuk Jhumra sat
    PAF Faisal Karachi MOB Southern Air Commander HQ
    PAF Gwadar sat
    PAF Kalabagh grnd
    PAF Kamra [Minhas] Kamra 33�52'13"N 72�24'00"E MOB Northern No.33 (Fighter/Multi-Role) Wing
    No.14 Sqn F-7P ~24
    No.15 Sqn F-6, FT-6 ~24
    PAF Kohat 33�34'14"N 71�26'22"E sat
    PAF Korangi Creek grnd
    PAF Lahore Lahore FOB
    PAF Lower Topa grnd
    PAF Malir grnd
    PAF Masroor Karachi 24�53'40"N 66�56'21"E MOB Southern No 32 (Fighter Ground Attack) Wing
    No. 2 Sqn F-7P ~24
    No. 7 Sqn Mirage 5PA, III 24+45
    No. 8 Sqn Mirage 5PA, III 24+45
    No.22 Sqn Mirage 5PA, IIIDP 14 + 2
    No.84 Sqn Alouette III 2
    No.453 Sqn Crotale SAM
    No.??? Sqn HQ-2B SAM
    PAF Mianwali Mianwali 32�33'47"N 71�34'14"E MOB No. 37 (Combat Training) Wing
    No. 1 Sqn FT-5 25
    No.19 Sqn F-7P ~24
    No.25 Sqn F-7 & FT-7 ~24
    No.86 Sqn Alouette III 2
    PAF Mirpur Khas 25�41'02"N 69�04'22"E FOB
    PAF Multan Multan 30�12'18"N 71�25'07"E FOB
    PAF Murid 32�54'36"N 72�46'26"E FOB
    PAF Nawabshah 26�13'17"N 68�23'24"E FOB
    PAF Ormara sat
    PAF Pasni 25�17'17.23"N 63�20'37.76"E FOB
    PAF Peshawar Peshawar 33�59'38"N 71�30'52"E MOB Northern Air Command HQ
    No.36 (Tactical Attack) Wing
    No.16 Sqn A-5 25
    No.26 Sqn A-5 24
    No.81 Sqn Alouette III 2
    PAF Rafiqui Shorkot 30�45'35"N 72�16'58"E MOB Central No. 34 (Fighter) Wing
    No. 5 Sqn Mirage IIIEP/RP 30
    No.18 Sqn F-7P ~24
    No.20 Sqn F-7P ~24
    No.83 Sqn Alouette III 2
    PAF Rahim Yar Khan sat
    PAF Rajanpur sat
    PAF Risalewala Faisalabad FOB
    PAF Risalpur Risalpur 34�04'49"N 71�58'34"E MOB College of Flying Training
    No.1(PFT) Sqn PAC/MFI-17
    No.2(PFT) Sqn PAC/MFI-17
    No.1(BFT) Sqn T-37B, T-37C
    No.2(BFT) Sqn T-37B, T-37C
    PAF Sakesar grnd
    PAF Samungli Quetta 30�15'09"N 66�56'12"E MOB Southern No. 31 (Fighter) Wing
    No.17 Sqn F-6, F-7P, FT-6 ~24
    No.23 Sqn F-6 ~24
    No.85 Sqn Alouette III 2
    PAF Sargodha Sargodha 32�03'09"N 72�40'07"E MOB Central Air Command, HQ
    No.38 (Multi-Role) Wing
    No. 9 Sqn F-16A 16
    No.11 Sqn F-16 A/B 16
    No.24 Sqn Falcon 20 F/G 2
    No.82 Sqn Alouette III 2
    Combat School F-7 ~24
    Combat School Mirage 5PA
    PAF Shahbaz Jacobabad 28�17'02"N 68�26'58"E FOB
    Shamsi 27�51'16"N 65�10'8"E civil
    PAF Sindhri sat
    PAF Sukkur 27�43'26"N 68�47'26"E FOB
    PAF Talhar FOB
    PAF Vihari 30�05'31"N 72�09'11"E FOB

    ** F-6's have been replaced by JF-17
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    Pakistan Air Force Combat Experience

    Some people may think PAF has only fought against the Indian Airforce, but there are a number of other conflicts in which the PAF took an active part against enemies other than the IAF. Pakistan Air Force was given a title "saviors of the nation" during the 1965 War. PAF personal have since met all the difficulties to uphold that title. PAF is nothing without its men, and PAF does more than most of the much bigger Air Forces to train the richest pilots on the planet. PAF has a policy of maintaining a minimum of two pilots per aircraft. But PAF trains more pilots than that. Almost as many as the much bigger Indian Air Force, which is atleast two and half times bigger in aircraft numerical strength. PAF sends its pilots abroad mainly to Middle East as advisors, and incase of conflict in the Middle East PAF pilots performed along with their Arab allies. On several occasions PAF pilots emerged victorious in the air battles between them and Israel.

    The pilots of PAF are still making history in the Middle East. Just recently, United Arab Emirates cancelled it's order of 80 Block 60 F-16s just because US would not let UAE train Pakistani pilots on that aircraft. This tells how much influence and prestige the PAF holds among the Arab Air Forces. There is no doubt that Pakistani pilots fly Saudi Tornadoes and F-15s and UAE's Mirage 2000s.

    War with India - 1947

    Within three weeks of independence, Indian hegemonic designs sparked off the first war between Pakistan and India. Pakistan's young air arm was called upon to fly supply missions with one of the two war weary Dakotas. Contending with the unpredictable weather, the difficult terrain, and the enemy fighters was an uphill task. The strength was replenished with two more Dakotas only as the skirmishes resumed the following winters. In the narrow valleys of Kashmir, the stirring tale of Flying Officer Mukhtar Dogar defiantly scissoring his lumbering Dakota with pursuing RIAF Tempests taking pot-shots at him defined the fighting doctrine of the PAF, defend Pakistan and learn to fight outnumbered. Within the span of a year this young air force had completed 437 mercy drops, delivering more than 500 tons of supplies and food.

    In December 1947, besieged and isolated in their mountain strongholds, wintery wastes, high passes and valleys, the 250,000 people and soldiers in Gilgit Agency and Azad Kashmir were desperate for food and supplies. All PAF could muster in serviceable condition were two war-weary Dakotas at Mauripur in Karachi. One flew at once to Risalpur, where it began operations under Wing Commander M.Asghar Khan, first commandant of the RPAF College. The old workhorse had spent its power in the war. Its wheezing engines had to struggle to reach 10,000 feet and then struggle some more to maintain the altitude. It was not the plane to fly among the highest mountains in the world where scores of peaks, many still unsurveyed and unnamed, touch more than 20,000 feet. But there was no choice.

    With its ceiling limit, the only route the Dakota could follow to Chilas, Bunji, Gilgit and Skardu - the main supply points - was the course of the narrow Indus Valley flanked on either side by mountains rising from 7,000 feet to the lofty heights of Nanga Parbat's 26,660 feet. Few planes had ever flown this route before.

    Weather was unpredictable and the valleys narrow and, by any aviation standards, unnavigable. There were no weather forecasts and the only training captains and crews had were some dummy drops at Risalpur, which in no way resembled the narrow dropping zones in the valleys. These were so narrow that there was hardly room for the Dakota to turn around, and no available ground for an emergency landing. No wonder those who undertook this exercise soon began to call the Indus 'The Valley of No Return'. For the first run early in December, the PAF deployed both its serviceable Dakotas, laden with rice, wheat and sugar in double gunny bags of thirty-six kilos each.

    The PAF crews began a daily dawn-to-dusk shuttle, the old Dakotas zig-zagging their way through the valleys and hills in rain, storm cloud, fog and blinding sunshine, which continued throughout the winter, not ending until April 15, 1948. Just two days after, Mohammad Ali Jinnah visited the flying training school at their Risalpur base, and said: "There is no doubt that any country without a strong Air Force is at the mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build her Air Force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient Air Force second to none". Supply runs began again in October 1948 and two more Dakotas had been brought into service.

    On 04 November 1948, while returning in Dakota from an air supply mission to Skardu, Flying Officer Mukhtar Dogar was attacked by two IAF Tempest fighters. One of his crew members was martyred and the navigator was injured under the heavy enemy cannon fire. Dogar continued to evade the Indian fighters by flying down to the tree top level over the twisting Indus River in a narrow valley. He became the first recipient of Sitara-i-Jurat in PAF.

    Within the span of a year this young air force had flown on little more than an often turbulent wing and a prayer and yet completed 437 mercy drops, delivering more than 500 tons of supplies and foods.

    First Kill - 1959

    The first pilot to shoot down an IAF aircraft was Flying Officer Younus. In his F-86F Saber, on 10 April, 1959 he shot down an Indian Canberra which was on a Photo Recce mission high over Rawalpindi on an Eid day.

    War with India - 1965

    The seven years of rigorous training with realistic threat perception, planning and preparation had enabled PAF to inflict a humiliating defeat on the enemy in 1965 when the mutual hostility of the rival neighbors escalated into a war. In 1965 Pakistan was attacked by India. Though this wasn't a decisive war on the ground but in the air PAF proved its mettle by definitive victory over Indian Air Force. PAF struck hard its rival and kept it reeling under tactics of shock and unpredictability. Many victories came to PAF pilots who exacted an even retribution on the enemy, leaving it in total disarray.

    Eight F-86Fs of No 19 Squadron struck Pathankot airfield on 6 September 1965. With carefully positioned dives and selecting each individual aircraft in its protected pen for their strafing attacks, the strike elements completed a textbook operation against Pathankot. Wing Commander M G Tawab, flying one of the two Sabres as tied escorts overhead, counted 14 wrecks burning on the airfield. Most of the aircraft destroyed on the ground were the IAF's Soviet-supplied Mig-21s received till then. None of them was seen again during the War. Tied escorts consisted of Wing Commander M G Tawab (later Air Marshal and Air Chief of Bangladesh Air Force) and Flight Lieutenant Arshad Sami. Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider led the strike elements in this formation. Along with him were Flight Lieutenants M Akbar, Mazhar Abbas, Dilawar Hussain, Ghani Akbar and Flying Officers Arshad Chaudhry, Khalid Latif and Abbas Khattak (later Air Chief Marshal and CAS, PAF).

    On 07 September, 1965 Sqn Ldr M M Alam in his F-86F Saber shot down five hunters. Intercepting an attack of six Hawker Hunters on the morning of 7 September, Alam blew their "tail-end Charlie" with his Sidewinder. As the rest five Hunters broke left in front of Alam's guns, he performed a well-documented feat of gunnery by shooting four of the Hunters in rapid succession destroying two and damaging two. So far, he remains the top scorer in the Indo-Pak Sub-continent.

    During the last days of the war Pakistani aircraft flew over Indian cities and airbases without any response from the opposing side. Thus the outnumbered PAF emerged triumphant over a four times larger force, its air defence controllers, engineers, logisticians and hands just as much the heroes as its pilots. At the end of the war, India had lost 110 aircraft with 19 damaged, not including those destroyed on the ground at night, against a loss of 16 PAF planes.

    The Arab-Israel War - 1967

    During this war, PAF sent a contingent of its pilots and airmen to Egypt, Jordan and Syria. PAF pilots performed excellently and downed about 10 Israeli planes including Mirages, Mysteres, Vautours without losing a single plane of their own. Flt.Lt. Saif-ul-Azam was decorated by Jordan and Iraq. The performance of PAF pilots was praised by Israelis too. Eizer Weizman, then Chief Of Israeli Air Force said once about Air Marshal Noor Khan (Commander PAF at that time): "...He is a formidable person and I am glad that he is Pakistani not Egyptian..." On 07 June 1967 Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam, PAF, destroyed an Israeli Mirage in Iraq. In his second encounter with Israelis in the Middle East, he despatched one of the Mirages that were escorting the Israeli Vatour bombers. Moments later, he shot down one of the two escaping Vatour bombers. Two days earlier he had shot down an Israeli Super Mystere over Mafrak Air Base, Jordan. The officer was decorated with gallantry awards after the war both by Jordan and Iraq. He had already earned Sitara-i-Jurat during the 65 war when he shot down an Indian Gnat.

    The Battle Of Sharoora - 1969

    In 1969, South Yemen, which was under the communist regime and a strong ally of USSR, attacked and captured Mount Vadiya inside the province of Sharoora in Saudi Arabia. Many PAF officers and men from different branches who were serving in Khamis Mushayt (the closet airbase from the battlefield), took active part in this battle in which the enemy was ultimately driven back.

    War with India - 1971

    Pakistan and India once again went to war in 1971, after India directly intervened in Pakistani civil war siding with Bengali seperatists. Though Pakistan suffered losses on the eastern front, it kept India out of Western Pakistan. The third war between the South Asian foes began when in December 1971, the Indian Army crossed into East Pakistan and from the encircling Air Bases. Ten squadrons of the IAF challenged the PAF's only squadron, No 14, located at Dhaka. The Tail Choppers of 1965 rose heroically to meet the aggressors, and before their squadron was grounded by a bombed out runway, they and their ack ack gunners had destroyed 23 IAF aircraft. The PAF's Mirages, B-57s, Sabers, F-6s and a few F-104s spearheaded Pakistan's retaliation from the west.

    During the night of 4 December 1971, Indian Osa missile boats attacked the Pakistan Navy, hitting a destroyer, PNS Khyber and a minesweeper, PNS Hafeez, to the southeast of Karachi. The Indian missile boats were a very serious threat not only to the Navy but also to other Pakistani ships in the Arabian Sea and in the Karachi harbor. Pakistan retaliated by causing extensive damage through a single B-57 attack on Indian naval base Okha. The bombs scored direct hits on fuel dumps, ammunition dump and the missile boats jetty. The missile boat attacks on Pakistani naval installations ceased thereafter. Flight Lieutenant Shabbir A Khan piloted the B-57 mission while Flight Lieutenant Ansar navigated it.

    On 14 December 1971 Flt Lt Saleem Beg Mirza was the leader of the escort section to a formation of four F-86s striking Srinagar Air Base. Flg Off Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon in his Gnat tried to intercept the raid but was shot down by Flt Lt Saleem Beg. Flg Off Nirmaljit was credited by IAF for shooting two F-86s but in fact all the six F-86s, including both the escorts and the fighting elements, returned safely to Peshawar.

    At war's end IAF had lost 130 aircraft in all. The three-to-one kill ratio that Pakistan scored, however, could not prevent the tragic fall of Dhaka. The trauma of separation of East Pakistan and a preventable military catastrophe affected all Pakistanis deeply and lingered long afterwards. However a stoic recovery was brisk. PAF soon reorganised and reequipped assimilating the new threat environment on the sub-continent.

    Yom Kippur War - 1973

    The PAF was active again in the Middle East sector after about 6 years. The PAF contingent deployed at Inchas Air Base (Egypt) was led by Wg.Cmdr. Masood Hatif and five other pilots plus two air defence controllers.

    Syria 1974

    During this war, Flt.Lt Sattar Alvi was decorated by the Syrian goverment when he shot down an Israeli Mirage over Golan Heights. On 26 April, 1974, in an encounter over Golan Heights between a Mig-21 of the Syrian Air Force, flown by Flight Lieutenant Sattar Alvi, PAF, and two Israeli Mirages. An added feature of this engagement was that the Air Defence Controller, Sqn Ldr Saleem Metla was also a Pakistani. While leading a Mig-21 patrol along the border, Sqn Ldr Arif Manzoor, also of the PAF was apprised of the presence of two Israeli Phantom aircraft and was cautioned that these could be decoys while two other fast tracks approaching from the opposite direction might be the real threat. The latter turned out to be Mirages and a moment later Alvi, in Arif's formation saw the No 2 Mirage breaking towards him. All this time, heavy radio jamming by Israeli ground stations was making things difficult but the Pakistani pilots were used to such tactics. Sattar forced the Israeli pair into close combat, firing his K-13 missile at the first opportunity. The Israeli wingman's Mirage exploded into a ball of fire, while the leader quickly disengaged.

    War in Afghanistan - 1980-88

    During the Afghan war in the eighties, PAF had to keep a constant vigil on its western border. Despite the fact that PAF was not allowed hot pursuit into Afghanistan, the pilots and the ground controllers together managed to shoot down eight Soviet/Afghan aircraft without a single own loss.

    During 1981-88, Pakistan experienced about 2000 air intrusions by Afghan/ Soviet forces. It shot down 8 Afghan/Soviet aircraft over the years and suffered one loss while chasing the intruders,albeit to its own shooting down of an F-16. This war helped Pakistan to acquire the latest F-16 aircraft from U.S.A and modernise its air-defence system. During the Afghan war, PAF flew a total of 10,939 sorties and logged 13,275 hours. On 17 May, 1986 Squadron Leader A Hameed Qadri of No 9 Multi Role F-16s' Squadron watching the SU-22 which, being hit by his AIM-9L missile, has turned into a ball of fire. The encounter took place at 16,000 feet over Parachinar, during the Afghan War, 1979-1988.
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    Pakistan Air Force Squadrons

    As of 1999 the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was organized into eighteen squadrons, with a total of 430 combat aircraft. Following the traditions of Britain's Royal Air Force the Squadrons of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)are awarded Standards upon completion of 25 years of service. In 2007 PAF raised a new squadron, specialising in night strike role. The newest Squadron No.27 is based at PAF base Rafiqui near Shorkot, equipped with Mirage aircraft converted for the specialised role.

    Unit Nick-Name Equipment Base
    No. 1 Squadron Rahbers FT-5 Mianwali
    No. 2 Squadron Minhas F-7P Masroor
    No. 3 Squadron B707
    Falcon
    Fokker F-27 Chaklala
    No. 4 Squadron
    No. 5 Squadron Falcons Mirage IIIEP and RP Rafiqui
    No. 6 Squadron Antelopes C-130 Chaklala
    No. 7 Squadron Bandits Mirage VPA Masroor
    No. 8 Squadron Haider Mirage VPA3 and VPA2 Masroor
    No. 9 Squadron Griffins F-16A Sargodha
    No.10 Squadron
    No.11 Squadron Arrows F-16A and B Sargodha
    No.12 Squadron Globe Trotters B707
    Falcon
    Fokker F-27 Chaklala
    No.14 Squadron Tail Choppers
    Shaheens F-7P Kamra
    No.15 Squadron Cobra F-7P Kamra
    No.16 Squadron Black Panthers A-5C Peshawar
    No.17 Squadron Tigers F-7PG F-6, FT- 6 Samungli
    No.18 Squadron Sharp Shooters F-7P Rafiqui
    No.19 Squadron Warhawks
    Sherdils F-7P Mianwali
    No.20 Squadron Cheetas
    Eagles F-7P Rafiqui
    No.22 Squadron Ghazis Mirage VPA, DPA, IIIDP Masroor
    No.23 Squadron Talons F-6 Samungli
    No.24 Squadron Falcon 20 F/G Sargodha
    No.25 Squadron (Night Strike) Eagles F-7 and FT-7 Mianwali
    No.26 Squadron Black Spiders A-5C Peshawar
    No.27 Squadron Zarrars Mirage Rafiqui
    No.41 Squadron Cessna 172
    Aero Commander
    Beach Travel Chaklala
    No.81 Squadron Kangaroos Alouette III Peshawar
    No.82 Squadron Alouette III Sargodha
    No.83 Squadron Alouette III Rafiqui
    No.84 Squadron Dolphins Alouette III Masroor
    No.85 Squadron Alouette III Samungli
    No.86 Squadron Alouette III Mianwali
    Combat
    Commander
    School Dashing F-7
    Mirage VPA Sargodha



    On 18 April 2009 Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, who was undertaking his inaugural visits to various PAF bases after assuming the command of Pakistan Air Force, visited PAF Base Peshawar. On arrival at the base, he was presented Guard of Honor by a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force. He also reviewed the parade presented by the Base personnel. Addressing Airmen, Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman said "The first ever fighter squadron of JF-17 Thunder aircraft will be raised and stationed at Pakistan Air Force Base, Peshawar. By the end of 2009, full strength of JF-17 Thunder aircraft squadron, which will also be the first ever squadron in the world, will be operational at PAF Base, Peshawar."

    The Pakistan air force began receiving new-build F-16s from Lockheed Martin beginning in 2009. The 18 aircraft on order-plus a major upgrade package for the nation's existing aircraft and further options-will dramatically enhance the service's capabilities and will bring to a close a controversial 20-year procurement saga. During that time Pakistan turned increasingly to China for the majority of its weaponry, and while it ordered large numbers of F-7 and JF-17 fighters to maintain numbers, the U.S.-made F-16s will bring a welcome boost in precision attack capability.
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    Operational Structure & Organization of the PAF

    Currently, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has around 65,000 active and 8,000 reserve personnel. Its Headquarters, called Air Headquarters, are in Rawalpindi, to the south of the capital, Islamabad.

    The overall operational and administrative command of the PAF vests in the Chief of the Air Staff who exercises these functions through the PAF's Air Headquarters. He is assisted by a Vice Chief of Air Staff and 4 Deputy Chiefs of the Air Staff who control and administer the Administration, Operations, Maintenance and Electronics divisions of the PAF respectively.

    The operational command of the PAF comprises of 4 directorates. These are the:

    - Directorate of Administration
    - Directorate of Operations
    - Directorate of Maintenance
    - Directorate of Electronics

    There are also some non-operational Directorates. These are:

    - Directorate of Air Intelligence
    - Directorate of Public Relations

    The flying operations of the air force are carried out from a number of operational, training and maintenance air bases located all over the country. Each base is headed by a Base Commander. The respective Base Commanders are responsible to the Chief of the Air Staff for the operational readiness and combat efficiency of their bases.

    Ranks in the PAF

    The commissioned ranks of the PAF in descending order of authority are comprised of the following offices:

    - Air Chief Marshal (ACM)
    - Vice Air Chief Marshal (VACM) - Air Marshal (AM)
    - Air Vice Marshal (AVM)
    - Air Commodore (Air Cdr.)
    - Group Captain (Grp. Cpt.)
    - Wing Commander (Wing Cmd.)
    - Squadron Leader (Sqn. Ldr.)
    - Flight Lieutenant (Flt. Lt.)
    - Flying Officer (FO)

    The non-commissioned cadets at the Pakistan Air Force Academy at Risalpur were called Pilot Officers. However, the PAF has now eliminated the rank of the Pilot Officer and the officers are now directly commissioned as Flying Officers.

    No. 15 Sqn. 'Cobras' JF-17 Kamra
    Station Flight PAC/MFI-17 Mushak Kamra
    No. 36 (Tactical Attack) Wing, Peshawar
    No. 16 Sqn. 'Panthers' A5-C, FT-6 Peshawar
    No. 26 Sqn. 'Black Spiders' A5-C, JF-17 Peshawar
    No. 81 Sqn. Allouette III Peshawar
    No. 37 (Combat Training) Wing, Mianwali
    No. 1. Fighter Conversion Unit Ft-5 Mianwali
    no. 19 (OCU) Sqn. 'War Hawks/Sherdils' F-6, FT-6 Mianwali
    No. 25 (OCU) Sqn. 'Eagles' F-7P Skybolt Mianwali
    No. 86 Sqn. Alluoette III Mianwali
    Station Flight PAC/MFI-17 Mushak Mianwali
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    Tactical Command

    The tactical command of the PAF is based on the following rank structure:

    - A Group Captain commands a group of Wings;
    - A Wing Commander commands a Wing of Squadrons; and
    - A Squadron Leader commands a Squadron.

    For the operational command and control functions of the PAF, Pakistan has been divided into 3 air defence 'districts', each under the responsibility of a Defence Command. The defence command of the PAF's 3 air defence districts include the:

    - Northern Command
    - Central Command
    - Southern Command

    These Commands are based at the major air bases at Sargodha, Malir, Masroor, Gilgit, Mauripur, Lahore, Mianwali, Peshawar, Quetta and Risalpur. They have the responsibility of monitoring and guarding Pakistani airspace, in providing support to ground, naval and paramilitary security forces and of defending the country against air attacks. Secondary missions include the provision of air transport to ground troops when needed, the co-ordination of civil and military air defence activities, and the conduct of technical training for civil aviation specialists.

    The PAF uses composite type Wings. Wings are basically a group of fighter, bomber, search-rescue and radar squadrons present at a particular base. PAF has currently 20 wings, including eight flying wings, that contain a total of 50 squadrons.

    The 8 Flying Wings are:

    - No. 32
    - No. 33
    - No. 34
    - No. 35
    - No. 36
    - No. 37
    - No. 38
    - No. 39
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    The number of squadrons assigned to a particular Wing vary considerably. For example, No. 39 Wing at Kamra has only two squadrons while No. 32 at Masroor has five. Some attempt at consolidation of particular aircraft types at particular bases does seem to have occurred but this is far from universal, with, for example the 4 tactical units at Masroor flying a mixed inventory which includes the A-5III/C, the F-7P and the Mirage.

    Squadrons The Pakistan Air Force has operated over 40 basic types of aircraft since its formation in 1947. Today it operates a total of around 30 fighter, bomber, search-rescue, reconnaissance, transport and training squadrons.

    Currently 20 squadrons exist, but only 12 of these are fully-fledged combat-role units. Of these 12, two have F-16s (Nos. 9 and 11 Sqn.), three have F-6s (Nos. 15, 17 and 23), four have F-7Ps (Nos. 2, 14, 18, and 19), two have A-5Cs (Nos. 16 and 26), one has Mirage IIIEPs and IIIRPs (No. 5) and one has Mirage 5PA2s and 5PA3s (No 8). The remaining eight squadrons are all concerned with training and other support roles.

    Five of these squadrons are commonly referred to as Operational Conversion Units (OCUs) and their primary task is directed towards providing a steady stream of qualified aircrew to front-line squadrons. Each of the five major types in the PAF inventory is supported by an 'OCU squadron' and these units comprise No. 7 (Mirage VPAs), No. 11 (F-16), No. 19 (F-7P), No. 22 (Mirage) and No. 25 (F-6).

    A brief description of each is given below :

    No. 1 Squadron (FCU) - Raised on April 28, 1975 and equipped with FT-5 aircraft.
    No. 2 Squadron - Raised on June 1, 1957 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 5 Squadron - Raised on August 15, 1947 and is presently equipped with Mirage IIIEP/RP aircraft.
    No. 6 Squadron - Raised on August 15, 1947 and is presently equipped with C-130 aircraft.
    No. 7 Squadron - Raised on March 1, 1960 and is presently equipped with Mirage VPA aircraft.
    No. 8 Squadron - Raised on August 1, 1960 and is presently equipped with Mirage VPA3/PA2 aircraft.
    No. 9 Squadron - Raised on January 3, 1944 and is presently equipped with F-16A aircraft.
    No. 11 Squadron (OCU) - Raised in June, 1951 and is presently equipped with F-16 A/B aircraft.
    No. 12 Squadron - Raised in March 1950 and is presently equipped with Boeing 707, Falcon, Fokker F-27 aircraft.
    No. 14 Squadron - Raised in November, 1948 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 15 Squadron - Raised on June 15, 1956 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 16 Squadron - Raised in 1957 and is presently equipped with A-5C aircraft.
    No. 17 Squadron - Raised on April 1, 1957 and is presently equipped with F-6/FT-6/F-7P aircraft.
    No. 18 Squadron - Raised on February 1, 1958 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 19 Squadron (OCU) - Raised on February 1, 1958 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 20 Squadron - Raised in 1957 and is presently equipped with F-7P aircraft.
    No. 22 Squadron (OCU) - Raised in 1984 and is presently equipped with Mirage VPA/DPA/IIIDP aircraft.
    No. 23 Squadron - Raised on March 16, 1961 and is presently equipped with F-6 aircraft.
    No. 24 Squadron (ESM) - Raised in December, 1962 and is presently equipped with Falcon 20 F/G aircraft.
    No. 25 Squadron (OCU) - Raised in January, 1966 and is presently equipped with F-6/FT-6 aircraft.
    No. 26 Squadron - Raised on August 30, 1967 and is presently equipped with A-5C aircraft.
    No. 41 Squadron - Raised 1967 and is presently equipped with Cessna 172, Aero-Commander, Beach - Travel aircraft.

    In addition, there are 6 Search-Rescue squadrons each equipped with 2 Alouette III helicopters and two Mirage VPA and F-7P Squadrons at the Combat Commanders School (CCS), Sargodha.
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    Maintenance Depots

    Maintenance Depots of the PAF consist of the following:

    - No. 101 Air logistics
    - No. 102 Air Maintenance Depot
    - No. 103 Air Logistic Depot
    - No. 104 Air Maintenance Depot
    - No. 105 Air Ordnance Depot
    - No. 106 Air Ordnance Depot
    - No. 107 Air Electronics Depot
    - No. 108 Air Electronics Depot
    - No. 109 Air Ordnance Depot
    - No. 111 Air Electronics Depot
    - Central Technical Development Unit

    Institutions

    - Pakistan Air Force Academy, Risalpur
    - College of Aeronautical Engineering, Risalpur
    - Flying Instructors School, Risalpur
    - Combat Commanders School, Sargodha
    - Transport Conversion School, Chaklala
    - School of Aeronautics, Korangi Creek
    - School of Electronics, Korangi Creek
    - Air War College, Karachi
    - Junior Command and Staff School, Kohat
    - Air Defence School, Sakesar
    - Aero-Medical Institute, PAF Base Masroor
    - Ski & Survival School, Kalabagh
    - Pre-Trade Training School, Kohat
    - Administrative Trade Training School, Kohat
    - JCO's Academy, Kohat

    The remaining training establishments are aimed at pilots or markedly differing levels of skills. At the top end of scale, there is the elite Combat Commanders' School (CCS) which is responsible for disseminating advanced fighter tactics and doctrine. This has two subordinate units, specifically the 'Mirage Squadron' (with Mirage 5PAs) and the 'F-6 Squadron' (with F-6). Instructor staff with the CCS are generally acknowledged to be the 'best of the best' and would also have a war role to fulfil in the event of a conflict.
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  18. #18
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    During the seventies a number of Mirage 5 aircraft was ordered. The first order was for 28 Mirage 5PAs, delivered in 1970. In 1979 another order followed, comprising 18 Mirage 5PA2 and 18 Mirage 5PA3 aircraft. The 5PA2 is equipped with Thomson-CSF Cyrano radar, while the 5PA3 is blessed with the Thomson-CSF Agava radar. This 79-436 is a Mirage 5PA2.
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    Pakistan is one of the many countries operating the Ce172 in for liaison duties. This particular aircraft (91-661) might no be able to operate across the entire country but 41sq is delighted with its services.
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    The Pakistan Air Force operates a large fleet of Mirage 3 and 5 aircraft. It is a mixture of freshly produced aircraft and second hand examples from France, Australia, Lebanon and Libya. Around 50 Mirage 3OAs and Mirage 3ODs were bought during the late eighties and are serving the Air Force from Masroor. This one, 90-560, was delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force on 2 November 1967 and operated there as A3-60.
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