November 29, 2008

Pakistan Air Force

Pakistan Air Force (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 6 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.

The Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) was formed in 1947 following the Partition of India and with it the partition of the Royal Indian Air Force. The RPAF began with 2,332 personnel, a fleet of 24 Tempest II fighter-bombers, 16 Hawker Typhoonfighters (also called Tempest I), two H.P.57 Halifax bombers, 2 Auster aircraft, twelve North American Harvard trainers and ten de Havilland 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 the 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 theBristol 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.

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...
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

List of 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 Air Crafts

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