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Pakistan Air Force

Pakistan Air Force (Urdu: پاک فضائیہ, Pak Faza'ya) (PAF) is the Aviation branch of the Pakistan armed forces and is responsible for defending Pakistani air-space from intrusions. It also provides air support for ground troops. Every year the 6th of September, as day after the annual celebration of the Pakistan Defense Day, the day is celebrated as the Air Force day in Pakistan. That day Air shows and other programs mark the PAF's role in defending the nation.

Mission statement

The primary mission statement of the PAF was given by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan during his address to the passing out cadets of the Pakistan Air Force Academy Risalpur on 13 April, 1948. His following statement has been taken as an article of faith by all coming generations of PAF personnel:

A country without a strong air force is at the mercy of any aggressor, Pakistan must build up her Air Force as quickly as possible, it must be an efficient Air Force, second to none...|20px|20px|

But the present scenario has required and enabled the Force to come up with an improved and up-to-date Mission Statement:

To provide, in synergy with other Armed Forces, an efficient, assured and cost-effective aerial defense of Pakistan|20px|20px|

History

Origin (1947 - 1951)

The Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) was formed in 1947 following the Partition of India. The RPAF began with 2,332 personnel, a fleet of 24 Tempest II fighter-bombers, 16 Hawker Typhoon fighters (also called Tempest I), two H.P.57 Halifax bombers, 2 Auster aircraft, twelve T-6G Harvard trainers and ten Tiger Moth biplanes. It also got eight C-47 Dakota cargo planes which it used to transport supplies to soldiers fighting in the 1947 War in Kashmir against India. However, it allegedly never received all the planes it was alloted at the time of partition of sub-continent. It started with 7 operational airbases scattered all over the provinces. The prefix Royal was removed when Pakistan gained the status of Republic on 23 March, 1956. It has since been called Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Operating these inherited aircraft was far from ideal in Pakistan's diverse terrains, deserts and mountains; frequent attrition and injuries did not make the situation any better. However, by 1948 the air force acquired better aircraft such as the Hawker Sea Fury fighter-bomber and the Bristol Freighter. These new aircraft gave a much-needed boost to the morale and combat capability of the Pakistan Air Force; 93 Hawker Fury and roughly 50-70 Bristol Freighter aircraft were inducted into the PAF by 1950.

The jet age (1951 - 1961)

Although the Pakistan Air Force had little funds to use and markets to choose from, it entered the jet age quite early. Initially it had planned to acquire US-built F-94Cs, F-86s, or F-84s and produce its order in Pakistan. However, lack of funds and strong British pressure persuaded the PAF to acquire the British Supermarine Attacker. The first squadron equipped with these aircraft was the Number-11 "Arrow". The Supermarine Attacker had a rather unsatisfactory service in the Pakistan Air Force with frequent attrition and maintenance problems. In 1957 the Pakistan Air Force received 100 American-built F-86 Sabres under the U.S. aid program. Squadron after squadron in the PAF retired its Hawker Furys and Supermarine Attackers, and replaced them with F-86 jet fighters. In 1957 thirty-six year old Air Marshal Asghar Khan became the Pakistan Air Force's first commander-in-chief; his tenure saw a change of PAF discipline, professionalism and quality which even today leaves its positive mark on the PAF. During his eight-year command the PAF saw modernization and re-equipment programs, as well as stricter and better training.

The PAF recorded its first kill on 10 April 1959 when an Indian Air Force English Electric Canberra plane on photo reconnaissance mission over Rawalpindi was shot down.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965

On September 6, 1965 war broke out between India and Pakistan. The first PAF F-104 kill of an Indian Air Force Mystère IV with one of its Sidewinders came on the afternoon of September 7, making it the first combat kill with a Mach 2-capable aircraft. India attacked Pakistan and Pakistan made her defence using F-104, F-86, B-57 and RT-33A. On September 7, 1965 the PAF claimed a heavy toll on the IAF with Sqn Ldr Muhammad Mahmood Alam in his F-86 Sabre claiming as many as eleven IAF Hunters.

In addition to brunting the Indian army's attacks in several sectors, and inflicting severe damages to some IAF bases, PAF had claimed to have destroyed 114 IAF aircraft.

"For the PAF, the 1965 war was as climatic as the Israeli victory over the Arabs in 1967. A further similarity was that Indian air power had an approximately 5:1 numerical superiority at the start of the conflict. Unlike the Middle East conflict, the Pakistani air force victory was achieved to a large degree by air-to-air combat rather than on the ground. ." USA - Aviation week & space technology

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Despite its considerably smaller size and limited capabilities, the PAF launched a pre-emptive strike, Operation Chengiz Khan, against Indian airbases. The PAF's strikes were based on the same strategy of preemptive neutralization of enemy air capability followed by the Israeli Air Force on Egyptian and Arab air forces in Operation Focus during the six day war. This strike, took the IAF by surprise and managed to overwhelm the Indians on the western front. However, on the eastern front, it did not achieve its mission objectives of completely neutralizing the IAF because the PAF only had one operational squadron stationed in East Pakistan. The IAF was able to regroup and launch retaliatory strikes that same night and focused their strategy on the Eastern wing, thus avoiding a major confrontation along the western border. This allowed the IAF to achieve air supremacy towards the end of the war in the East Pakistan since the airbase in Dhaka suffered extensive damage. Although at least 32 Indian fighters were shot down in the Eastern wing.

The PAF found itself outgunned in East Pakistan. It only had one squadron of 16 old vintage F-86 Sabre aircraft facing fourteen squadrons of Indian Air Force. On the night of 3rd and 4th December, this squadron fought against 11 squadrons of IAF and was surprisingly able to repulse the attack. However, it was taken out of the war when IAF bombed the only airfield in Dhaka, twice . As a result the airspace over East Pakistan could not be effectively patrolled by the PAF, this adversely effected the ability of the Pakistan army to defend East Pakistan. The PAF claims to have destroyed 120 Indian fighters planes during the war.

Yom Kippur War

During the war 16 PAF pilots volunteered to go to the Middle East in order to support Egypt and Syria but by the time they arrived, Egypt had already been pushed into a ceasefire. Syria remained in a state of war against Israel. Eight (8) PAF pilots started flying out of Syrian Airbases; they formed the A-flight of 67 Squadron at Dumayr Airbase. The Pakistani pilots flew Syrian MiG-21 aircraft conducting CAP missions for the Syrians. Flt. Lt. A. Sattar Alvi became the first Pakistani pilot, during the Yom Kippur War, to shoot down an Israeli Mirage in air combat. He was honored by the Syrian government. Other aerial encounters involved Israeli F-4 Phantoms; Pakistan Air Force did not lose a single pilot or aircraft during this war. The Pakistani pilots stayed on in Syria until 1976, training Syrian pilots in the art of air warfare.

Soviet-Afghan War

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 in support of the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which was being hard-pressed by Mujahadeen rebel forces, marked the start of a decade-long occupation. Mujahadeen rebels continued to harass the occupying Soviet military force as well as the forces of the Afghan regime that it was supporting. The war soon spilled over into neighbouring Pakistan, with a horde of refugees fleeing to camps across the border in an attempt to escape the conflict. In addition, many of the rebels used Pakistan as a sanctuary from which to carry out forays into Afghanistan, and a steady flow of US-supplied arms was carried into Afghanistan from staging areas in Pakistan near the border. This inevitably resulted in border violations by Soviet and Afghan aircraft attempting to interdict these operations.

Between May 1986 and January 1989, PAF F-16s shot down at least ten intruders from Afghanistan. Four of the kills were Afghan Su-22s bombers, three were Afghan transports (two An-26s and one An-24), and one was a Soviet Su-25 bomber . Most of these kills were achieved using the AIM-9 Sidewinder, but a Su-22 was destroyed by cannon fire and the one An-24 crash landed after being forced to land upon interception.

The new generation (1983 - 1989)

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The violent Soviet invasion brought hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees to Pakistan. With the war being critical to Pakistan's national sovereignty and integrity, the PAF once again sought out modernization, including the procurement of new generation fighter aircraft. France offered its new Mirage 2000, while the PAF's senior officers were interested in procuring American F-16 or F-18L fighters. Initially the Americans refused to sell the F-16 or F-18L and instead offered F-20, F-5E/F or A-10 aircraft. Eventually the new Republican administration of Ronald Reagan approved the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, and in 1981 an agreement was made to supply 34 General Dynamics F-16A and 12 F-16B "Fighting Falcon" aircraft to the Pakistan Air Force.

The F-16s were delivered under the "Peace Gate" Foreign Military Sales Program; the first six were delivered in 1983 under "Peace Gate-I" while the remaining 34 arrived by 1986, under the "Peace Gate-II" program. Between 1986 and 1988 Pakistani F-16s took part in frequent skirmishes with Soviet and Afghan aircraft.

Pakistani F-16s typically carry two all-aspect AIM-9Ls on the wingtip rails, along with a pair of AIM-9Ps on the outermost underwing racks. The F-16s also have an important strike role for which they are fitted with the French-built Thomson-CSF ATLIS laser designation pod and have the capability to deliver Paveway laser-guided bombs. The ATLIS was first fitted to Pakistani F-16s in January 1986, which became the first non-European aircraft to be qualified for the ATLIS pod.

During the late 1980s, the Pakistan Air Force's Air Defence system also underwent modernization, including the induction and integration of new land-based AN/TPS-47 radars and new Crotale Surface-to-air missiles. Attempts to acquire a new AWACS aircraft were also made - with the E-3 Sentry being desired, but the U.S would not sell it and instead offered the E-2 Hawkeye.

In 1988 the Pakistan Air Force sought to replace its F-6s and Mirages by 1997 with the procurement of new aircraft; initially a mix of Mirage 2000 and F-16A/B Block-15OCU were to be acquired alongside 90 or so F-7 (Chinese MiG-21). However in 1988 the death of Zia-ul-Haq and Soviet disengagement from Afghanistan reduced Pakistan's value as an US ally and sanctions were put in place by US authorities quoting a suspected nuclear program. Since 2002 the F-6 has been phased out of Pakistan Air Force and the last flight and farewell ceremony to the F-6 aircraft was held at Pakistan Air Force Base Samungli (Quetta Baluchistan), Wing Commander Arif had the honour of flying the last sortie of the F-6 aircraft in the presence of PAF Chief and Chinese Air Force high officials.

The "lost" decade (1991 - 2001)

From 1990 Pakistan was hit by American military embargoes in response to Pakistan's nuclear weapons development; these embargoes prevented the Pakistan Air Force from acquiring the 71 new-built F-16s from the U.S. After the 1998 nuclear tests and 1999 military coup, Pakistan was hit by further sanctions not only from the U.S but other Western nations as well; it would not be until 2002 when the U.S finally ended most of the embargoes. During the 1990s the Pakistan Air Force strived for alternative sources for its new generation fighter requirement; the French Dassault Mirage 2000-5 was chosen but was too expensive to obtain.

This forced Pakistan to rely heavily on China for military aircraft. Pakistan and China worked together to develop the K-8 trainer, and continue to cooperate on the JF-17 project which aims to provide both nations with a new-generation fighter. This project is a major joint venture between Pakistan Air Force and China Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation along with Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC). The research and development cost of this project is between 450 to 500 million US dollars. It is financed up to 50%-59% by the government of Pakistan. Estimated cost per aircraft will be around 20 million US dollars. As of 2007, Pakistan had started manufacturing JF-17s in Kamra and the first delivery of two planes has taken place in March, 2007.But the mass production started in January 2008 the 8 JF-17 delivered to Pakistan and two are in transit.

Kargil war

During the Kargil War with India, while none of the PAF aircraft played a role, the Pakistan Air Force Air Defence unit shot down an Indian Air Force MiG-27 on May 27, 1999 which had entered Pakistani air-space. Pakistan also shot down another Mig-21, which had come into the area in search of the earlier downed pilot. Pakistan proved that these two aircraft had violated the LoC and crossed 7 miles in to Pakistani air space before being shot down by PAF Air Defence and Pakistan Army SAM ANZA and AAM, though India maintains that it was in Indian territory and that the aircraft were shot down by the infiltrators using Stinger missiles that they claim were later recovered..

Pakistan Air Force today

The PAF today operates F-16s, F-7PGs, F-7MPs, Mirage-IIIs, JF-17 Thunders, A-5Cs and Mirage-Vs, around 500 to 530 fighters organized in 27 front-line squadrons, the total of aircraft exceeds over 700. The PAF is upgrading fighter aircraft such as the Mirage ROSE-I that can utilize BVR, and Mirage ROSE-III that can carry out surgical strike missions using long-range glide bombs. Pakistan has also started manufacturing 150 (can go up to 250-300 fighters) JF-17 Thunder fighters at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra. The first batch of two aircraft were commissioned in PAF on 23 March 2007.

On April 12, 2006, the Government of Pakistan authorized the purchase of up to 77 F-16 fighter planes from the US. But this number was reduced to 40 when US declined to reduce the unit price of the aircraft. The Government of Pakistan had also authorized the purchase of 36 Chinese J-10 fighter aircraft PAF also received its first of five Saab 2000 AWACS aircraft from Sweden, on April 3 2008.

PAF Awards for valor

The Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر) (Order of Ali), is the highest military award given by Pakistan. Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas (1951–August 20, 1971) is the only officer of the PAF to be awarded the Nishan-e-Haider. Other heroes of the PAF include:

On March 15, Pakistan received 6 JF-17 fighters from China. The Pakistan Air Force currently has 8 JF-17 Thunder aircraft in service.

PAF Command structure

Personnel and command

The Air Force has about 65,000 active personnel with about 10,000 reserves. The Chief of the Air Staff holds the operational and administrative powers. He is assisted by a Vice Chief of Air Staff and six Deputy Chiefs of the Air Staff who control and administer the Administration, Operations, Engineering, Supply (logistics), Personnel, and Training divisions of the PAF respectively. Recently, the Air Headquarters (AHQ) has been moved from Chaklala to Islamabad. Major Air force bases are at Shorkot, Karachi, Quetta, Kamra, Peshawar, Mianwali, Sargodha and Risalpur. There are many war-time operational forward bases, civilian airstrips and runways as well as emergency motorways.

Ranks

The current officer rank structure follows Royal Air Force designations:

PAF Commissioned Officer Ranks
Rank Air Chief Marshal Air Marshal Air Vice Marshal Air Commodore Group Captain Wing Commander Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant Flying Officer Pilot Officer
Uniform insignia

PAF Junior Commissioned Officers and enlisted Ranks
Rank Chief Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Assistant Warrant Officer Senior Technician Corporal Technician Junior Technician Senior Aircraftsman Leading Aircraftsman Aircraftsman
Uniform insignia
In 2006 the Pakistan Air Force changed the rank insignia for its officers, abandoning the ring insignia in favour of an army-style one based on stars .

Air Force General Staff

  • Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed NI(M) — Chief of the Air Staff (CAS)
  • Air Marshal Shahid Lateef — Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS)
  • Air Marshal Hifazatullah Khan — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Personnel)
  • Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations)
  • Air Marshal Muhammad Yousaf — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Supply)
  • Air Vice Marshal Inamullah Khan — Inspector General Air Force (IGAF)
  • Air Vice Marshal Faaiz Amir — Air Officer Commanding, Northern Air Command (NAC)
  • Air Vice Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt — Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command (SAC)
  • Air Vice Marshal Farhat Hussain Khan — Chief Project Director JF-17 Thunder
  • Air Vice Marshal Atique Rafique — Air Officer Commanding, Central Air Command (CAC)
  • Air Vice Marshal Wasimuddin — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Administration)
  • Air Vice Marshal Mohammad Hassan — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Training)
  • Air Vice Marshal Aftab Hussain — Air Officer Commanding, Air Defence Command (ADC)
  • Air Vice Marshal Sohail Gul Khan — Director General Air Force Strategic Command (AFSC)
  • Air Vice Marshal Qasim Masood Khan — Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Engineering)

List of PAF Chiefs

  1. Air Vice Marshal Allan Perry-Keene (August 15, 1947 - February 17, 1949)
  2. Air Vice Marshal Richard Atcherley (February 18, 1949 - May 6, 1951)
  3. Air Vice Marshal Leslie William Cannon (May 7, 1951 - June 19, 1955)
  4. Air Vice Marshal Arthur McDonald (June 20, 1955 - July 22, 1957)
  5. Air Marshal Asghar Khan (July 23, 1957 - July 22, 1965)
  6. Air Marshal Nur Khan (July 23, 1965 - August 31, 1969)
  7. Air Marshal Abdul Rahim Khan (September 1, 1969 - March 2, 1972)
  8. Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry (March 3, 1972 - April 15, 1974)
  9. Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan (April 16, 1974 - July 22, 1978)
  10. Air Chief Marshal Muhammad Anwar Shamim (July 23, 1978 - March 5, 1985)
  11. Air Chief Marshal Jamal A. Khan (March 6, 1985 - March 8, 1988)
  12. Air Chief Marshal Hakimullah (March 9, 1988 - March 9, 1991)
  13. Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan (March 9, 1991 - November 8, 1994)
  14. Air Chief Marshal Abbas Khattak (November 8, 1994 - November 7, 1997)
  15. Air Chief Marshal Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi (November 7, 1997 - November 20, 2000)
  16. Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir (November 20, 2000 - February 20, 2003)
  17. Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat (March 18, 2003 - March 18, 2006)
  18. Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed (March 18, 2006 - present)

PAF Special Forces

Special Service Wing (SSW) is an independent commando division of the Pakistan Air Force. It is an elite special operations force similar based upon the US Air Force's 1st Special Operations Wing unit and the US Army's Ranger unit. This the newest component to the Special Forces of Pakistan. The division is still being trained and built up which will initially field between 1,000 to 2,000 men in 1 Company and is expected to be combat ready soon.

PAF Bases

These are the bases from which the PAF planes operate during peace time. They have complete infrastructure of hardened shelters, control towers, workshops, ordnance depots etc. These are ten in number and are :

Female role in PAF

Females have been enrolled in the Pakistan Air Force since its creation, but their induction had been limited to administrative branches only. However, females are now allowed to enroll in the aerospace engineering and fighter pilot programs of the nation's air force academy. Two batches of female fighter pilots graduated in year 2006 bringing out the first female pilots of the Pakistan Air Force.

On March 31st 2006, Saba Khan, Nadia Gul, Mariam Khalil and Saira Batool were among 36 aviation cadets who received their wings after three and a half years of regular training. Saira Amin, a female cadet, has made history by being the first woman pilot to have won the Sword of Honour in any defence academy of Pakistan, at the passing out parade of the 117th GD (P) at Risalpur Of the first four female pilots, none qualified for a fighter aircraft squadron of the Air Force. They are therefore now part of the light communication squadron of Pakistan Air Force.

PAF Fleet

PAF currently has an inventory of around 523 fighter planes. However, at any given instance, around 400 fighters are operational. Some 70 of the Mirages have been given ROSE upgrades - allowing them to engage in BVR combat; and also allowing them to either perform high-altitude air-superiority missions or specialized surface strike missions. The F-7PGs and F-16s are the PAF's main multi-role fighter aircraft - while the F-7MP is a limited interceptor/ground-strike aircraft. It is likely however that the PAF will procure another 14 F-16A/Bs and 18 F-16C/D Block-52 and start retiring its F-7MPs and non ROSE Mirages.

Current Aircraft
Pakistan Air Force Aircraft Fleet
Aircraft Inducted Attrition Current Role
/ Chengdu JF-17 Thunder 10 0 10 Multi-Role (240 more planned)
Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon 0 0 0 Multi-Role 36 planned till 2009
General Dynamics F-16A Block-15 Fighting Falcon 38 6 32 Multi-Role
General Dynamics F-16B Block-15 Fighting Falcon 24 2 22 Training & Multi-Role
General Dynamics F-16 C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon 0 0 0 Multi-Role 18 ordered(Deliveries in 2010) + 18 options
Chengdu F-7PG Skybolt 48 2 46 Interceptor
Chengdu F-7MP Skybolt 120 30 90 Interceptor & Ground-Support
Chengdu FT-7P Skybolt 15 0 15 Training
Chengdu FT-7PG Skybolt 9 0 9 Training
Dassault Mirage ROSE-I (Mirage-IIIO) (Refurbished: Ex-Australian) 32 4 28 Interceptor
Dassault Mirage ROSE-I (Mirage-IIIDP) 5 1 4 Training & Interceptor
Dassault Mirage ROSE-II (Mirage-VEF) (Refurbished: Ex-French) 19 3 16 Strike & Ground-Support
Dassault Mirage ROSE-II (Mirage-VDF) (Refurbished: Ex-French) 6 0 6 Training & Strike & Ground-Support
Dassault Mirage ROSE-III (Mirage-VEF) (Refurbished: Ex-French) 14 0 14 Precision Strike
Dassault Mirage-IIIEP 18 6 12 Interceptor & Ground-Support
Dassault Mirage-IIIEL (Refurbished: Ex-Lebanese) 10+1DP 0 11 Interceptor & Ground-Support
Dassault Mirage-IIIDA (Refurbished: Ex-Australian) 7 0 7 Training
Dassault Mirage-IIIRP 13 3 10 Reconnaissance
Dassault Mirage-VPA3 12 3 9 Naval Support
Dassault Mirage-VPA2 18 3 15 Ground Support
Dassault Mirage-VPA 28 2 26 Ground Support
Dassault Mirage-VDPA2 2 0 2 Training
Dassault Mirage-V (Refurbished: Ex-Libyan) 10 0 10 Interceptor & Ground-Support
Nanchang Q-5/A-5C Fantan 52 12 40 Ground-Support & Tactical Strike (Currently being phased out).
Shenyang J-5 Fresco 20 0 20 Fighter Conversion (Advanced Jet Training)
Karakoram K-8 24 0 24 Basic & Intermediate Jet Training
Cessna 172 50 ?? ??
Cessna T-37 37 ?? ?? Basic Jet Training
Super Mushak MFI-395 20 0 20 Primary Training
Mushak MFI-17 80 0 80 Primary Training
Dassault Falcon 20 2 0 2 ELINT/ECM
Lockheed Martin C-130B/E 18 6 12 Medium-Lift Transport
Antonov An-26 'Curl' 1 0 1 Medium-Lift Transport
/ CN-235 4 0 4 V.I.P & Light-Lift Transport
HAMC Y-12(II) 1 0 1 Light-Lift Transport
Boeing 707 3 0 3 VIP Transport(expected to be retired by end of 2008-no longer used for VIP role)
Fokker F-27 200 2 1 1 Light Transport
Dassault Falcon 20 11 0 1 VIP Transport
AWACS aircrafts 5 0 5 Airborne Warning and Control System
Beechcraft Super King Air 1 0 1 Light Transport
Lockheed L-100 1 0 1 Tactical Transport
Airbus A310 1 0 1 VIP Transport
Saab 2000 5(order) 0 1 Airborne Early Warning
Baaz ?? ?? ?? Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Ababeel ?? ?? ?? Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Uqaab ?? ?? Pakistan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Ground SAM vehicles

  • FT-2000/HQ-9, In October 2003, it was reported that China had closed a deal with Pakistan to supply the an unspecified number of FT-2000 missiles to counter India’s early warning capabilities.
  • Crotale 2000/3000/4000, approx 25 systems
  • MBDA Spada 2000, European missile house MBDA has officially confirmed the sale of its Spada 2000 air defense system to the Pakistan Air Force.Speaking on April 16, Chief Executive Antoine Bouvier said the deal for 10 batteries was worth 415 million euros ($656.56 million) over five years, adding that the contract was signed last August and put into force in February.
  • FIM-92 Stinger
  • RBS-70 Rayrider, 133 Launchers, 400 Missiles
  • HQ-2B(SA-2), approx 32 launchers 400msl
  • PL-9, combined with twin 35/37mm guns
  • GDF-002 35 mm radar Controlled Systems, approx 200

Engineering & maintenance capability

Since independence the PAF has developed and nurtured an extensive in house engineering, maintenance and repair capability. Indigenization of in house maintenance has enabled it to maintain force levels and high serviceability and reliability rates. The premier maintenance organizations supporting the mission of the Pakistan Air Force are Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (which includes F6 Rebuild Factory, Mirage Rebuild Factory, Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Kamra Avionics Rebuild Factory), No 102 Air Engineering Depot (Aero-Engines Overhaul), No 107 Air Engineering Depot (Avionics), No 108 Air Engineering Depot (Ground Radars), No 109 Air Engineering Depot (Missiles), No 130 Air Engineering Depot (Transport Aircraft Overhaul). R&D work is done at Central Technical Development Unit, Special Task Group & No 118 Software Engineering Depot. The PAF managed / supported Air Weapon Complex (AWC) produces a number of high technology armament and munitions for the air force.

The College of Aeronautical Engineering (CAE) situated at PAF Academy Risalpur graduates engineers in aerospace and avionics specialty and is a world class institute with a high reputation for the quality of its graduates and fulfills requirements for both army & navy as well as a number of foreign countries.

Apart from this Pre Trade Training School, School Of Aeronautics, School Of Electronics, Administrative Trades Training School and School Of Logistics fulfills different manpower requirements of Pakistan Air Force.

Future plans

In light of Pakistan's significant contribution to the War on Terror, the United States and Western European countries, namely Germany and France, lifted their defense related sanctions on Pakistan; enabling the country to once again seek advanced Western military hardware. Since the lifting of sanctions, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) became heavily active in evaluating potential military hardware; such as new fighter planes, radars, land based air-defense systems, etc. The key factor had been the lifting of American sanctions on Pakistan; including restrictions on military combat aircraft - namely the Lockheed Martin F-16. However the urgent relief needed in Kashmir after the October 8th Earthquake forced the Pakistan Military to stall its modernization programme; so it could divert its resources for fuel and operations during the rescue effort.



The modernization stall would end in April 2006 when the Pakistani cabinet approved the Pakistan Air Force's proposal to procure 350 new fighters from the U.S and China. The Pakistan Government has launched the Armed Forces Development Programme - 2019 (AFFDP-2019); this programme will oversee the modernization of the Pakistan Air Force from now to 2019. According to the Business Recorder, a leading financial newspaper in Pakistan, PAF is interested to increase its strength. The list includes:

  • 36 J-10A/B Vanguard fighters from China
  • 44 F-16A/B Block 15OCU MLU-3 Fighting Falcon (ex-Peace Gate III/IV aircraft) from United States
  • 18 F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon from United States, with an option for another 18
  • 250 JF-17 Thunder
  • 6 Saab 2000 Erieye AWACS + 1 Training Aircraft
  • 4 Harbin ZDK-03 AWACS + 1 Training Aircraft
  • 4 IL-78 Midas Air-to-Air Refueling Aircraft
  • 12 C-130H w/6 reserve C-130H Medium Lift Transport Aircraft
  • 80+ K-8 Intermediate Jet Trainer

PAF will be looking for additional F-16 MLU from third parties. In July 2007 Commander of Central Air Command of US Air Force Lt-Gen Gary L. North, and another US Aviator flew a pair of F-16s to Pakistan for them to be handed to the Pakistan Air Force. This was very extraordinary and unforeseen, because US CENTCOM commandants don't distribute jet aircraft to other partner nations. The Pakistan Air Force will consist of a variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. Known systems include the following:

  • 500 AIM-120C5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
  • 300 SD-10 Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
  • + T-Darter Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
  • 200 AIM-9M-8/9 Within Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
  • 300 AIM-9M-1/2 Within Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles.(UPGRADED TO AIM-9M-8/9 STANDARD)
  • 500 PL-9C Within Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
  • 300 Harpoon Block II Anti-Ship Missile
  • 18 targeting pods.

F 16 A/B upgrades and Counterterrorism aid

The Bush administration on July 24, 2008 informed the US Congress it plans to shift nearly $230 million of $300 million in aid from counterterrorism programs to upgrading Pakistan's aging F-16s. The Bush administration previously announced on June 27, 2008 it was proposing to sell Pakistan ITT Corporation's electronic warfare gear valued at up to $75 million to enhance Islamabad's existing F-16s. Pakistan has asked about buying as many as 21 AN/ALQ-211(V)9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite pods, or AIDEWS, and related equipment. The proposed sale will ensure that the existing fleet is "compatible" with new F-16 Block 50/52 fighters being purchased by Islamabad. Electronic warfare targets such things as radars, communications links, computer networks and advanced sensors.

See also

Footnotes

References

External links

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