On 10 April 1959, on the event of the Islamic Eid ul-Fitr festival holiday in Pakistan, an Indian Air Force (IAF) English Electric Canberra B(I)58 entered Pakistani airskies on a photo reconnaissance mission.
Two PAF F-86F Sabres from No. 15 Squadron on Air Defence Alert (ADA) were scrambled from Sargodha Air Base to intercept the IAF aircraft.
The Sabre pilots were Flt. Lt. M. N. Butt (leader) and Flt. Lt. M. Yunis (wingman)(Later Air Vice Marshal) whereas Pilot Officer Rab Nawaz was the on-duty Air Defence Controller for this mission.
1965 India-Pakistan Rann of Kutch border skirmish:
In June 1965 India-Pakistan War, India and Pakistan had a border skirmish(argue) in the Rann of Kutch region near the south-eastern coastline of Pakistan. The PAF was tasked with providing point-defence to the Rann of Kutch region to prevent the Pakistani airskies from entering Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pakistan air zone and attacking Pakistan Army positions. On 24 June 1965, an IAF Ouragan fighter (Serial No. IC 698), flown by Flt. Lt. Rana Lal Chand Sikka of No. 51 Auxiliary Squadron from the IAF’s Jamnagar Air Station entered Pakistani airskies. A PAF F-104A Starfighter from No. 9 Squadron intercepted the IAF fighter near Badin in Sindh, Pakistan. Just as the PAF pilot locked on to the Indian fighter and was about to release his AIM-9B Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missile (AAM), the Indian pilot lowered his aircraft’s landing gear (an internationally recognized sign of airy surrender).
1965 India-Pakistan War:
PAF B-57 Canberra bombers lined up at an airbase.
The PAF fleet at the time consisted of 12 F-104 Starfighters, some 120 F-86 Sabres and around 20 B-57 Canberra bombers.The PAF claims to have had accomplished air superiority over the clash area from the second day of operations.
Many publications have credited the PAF’s successes to U.S.war equipment, claiming it to be superior to the aircraft operated by the IAF and giving the PAF a “qualitative advantage”. However some people refute this argument. As per them, the IAF’s MiG-21, Hawker Hunter and Folland Gnat aircraft had better efficiency than the PAF’s F-86 fighters.According to Air Cdre (retired) Sajad Haider, the F-86 Sabre was inferior in both power and speed to the IAF’s Hawker Hunter.
1967 Arab-Israeli ‘Six-Day’ War:
During this skirmish the PAF sent personnel to Egypt, Jordan and Syria to support the Arabs in their war against the Israelis. Some Pakistani sources have claimed that PAF pilots managed to shoot down ten Israeli aircraft.
Collected By Nayab Khan and Prepared By Amir Ghulam.