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PAF eulogises Air Marshal Nur Khan leadership, soldiers’ courage in 1965 air battle


Sep 26, 2018
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Directorate General Public Relations on Thursday released a short documentary on the courage and bravery of its soldiers in connection with the September 1965 war.

The short-documentary shed light on the leadership role played by the then Commander-in-Chief of the PAF Air Marshal Nur Khan and the chivalrous response to inimical attacks of the Indian Air Force by the soldiers of PAF, a news release here said.

The three minutes and 46 seconds long short-documentary described the air battle that took place on September 1, 1965. The prologue opined that during the war of September 1965, the PAF established its command and supremacy in the air field whereas the aggressive and unique response of PAF provided an invincible defence shield to the aerial limits of the country.
It noted that this success was basically due to the prime role and leadership qualities of Air Marshal Nur Khan that he rendered during this Indo-Pak war.

He had the honour of taking over the command of PAF on July 23, 1965 and it was noteworthy that despite staying away for few years from PAF, Air Marshal Nur Khan within few days completed a training mission on T33 aircraft from Sargodha also got flying approval on F-86 aircraft.

However, he also got expertise in flying F-104 aircraft that used to fly at doubled the pace of air within in a short span of time. He got 100% marks in air to ground shooting test while flying F-104 which was nearly impossible to achieve.

Air Marshal Nur Khan due to his effective war strategy and knowledge divided 141 PAF aircraft into nine squadrons whereas this PAF fighter fleet was also assisted by 30 different transport trainers and helicopters.

During this combat, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had approximately 775 fighter aircraft that were divided into 29 squadrons and out of these over 500 could be used as the frontline. While comparing the two rival Air Forces the comparison was of 5:1.

However, on September 1, the Air Headquarters received information that IAF had planned to target Pakistan Army in Kashmir. In order to verify this news the Air Marshal, expressing his leadership qualities, decided to supervise enemy movements himself in Chamb sector.

He flew from Chaklala in a traning T-33 aircraft and landed near a small airfield in Gujrat and took update on the fresh situation at the number 1 Corps Headquarters of the Army.

During this time, Pakistani radars spotted enemy aircraft in Chamb sector and the two PAF Sabre aircraft on air mission promptly headed towards enemy aircraft. These aircraft were flown by Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Rafiqui and Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti who spotted the enemy aircraft despite very low vision.

Squadron Leader Rafiqui targeted one IAF vampire aircraft and also hit the second that approached Flight Lieutenant Bhatti’s aircraft. Bhatti also targetted two aircraft in this battle. However, all these four aircraft’s wreck fell on Indian Army which was confirmed by the then Indian Prime Minister on the next day.

The PAF supremacy over enemy raised the morale of the Armed Forces of Pakistan and this first success of PAF over IAF made the nation realise that “in the presence of PAF we don’t have to worry about IAF.”

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