List of Pakistan Air Force squadrons

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Main article: Pakistan Air Force

Squadrons are the most basic flying unit of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Combat aircraft squadrons contain around 20 aircraft. Squadron titles incorporate a squadron number and each squadron also has a nickname associated with it. PAF squadrons are organised into wings which contain multiple squadrons.

Active squadrons[edit]

Squadron Name Operational Aircraft Role Notes
No. 1 Sqn Rahbars 1975
1975—1987
1987
1987—2011
2012

FT-5
FT-5
FT-5
K-8P

FCU
AD
FCU
FCU
Set up in 1975 at PAF Base Masroor before moving to PAF Base Mianwali. A fighter conversion unit (FCU) training pilots to fly the Chengdu F-7 fighters. Now with the induction of K-8P aircraft, PAF can train its pilots for more advance aircraft.[citation needed]
No. 2 Sqn Minhas 1956
1956—1972
1972—1979
1979—1982
1982—1986
1986—1990
1990—1993

1993—

T-33A
T-33A, RT-33A
T-33A, RT-33A
T-33, RT-33, B-57
T-33, RT-33A
F-7P, T-33A, RT-33A
F-7P

FCU
FCU, R
Various
Various
Various
Various

AS
Set up in 1956 with T-33A.[citation needed] Split into two flights, A flight for F-7P operations and B flight for T-33A/RT-33A operations. T-33A/RT-33A retired in 1993.[citation needed]
No. 5 Sqn Falcons 1947
1947—1950s
1950s—1967
1967—2010
2010—

Tempest II

Hawker Fury
F-86 Sabre
Mirage III
F-16C/D Block 50/52+





RP, TA
MR
No. 6 Sqn Antelopes 1947
1947—1950
1950—1963
1963—

C-47
C-47, Freighter
C-130
No. 6 Squadron performed 71 sorties during run-up to Pakistan's 1998 nuclear tests, transporting 575 tonnes of cargo.[citation needed] Also known as the Antelopes.
No. 7 Sqn Bandits 1960
1960—1982
1982—1988
1989—1990
1990—1991
1991—1993
1997—

B-57 Canberra
Nanchang A-5C
Nanchang A-5C
Nanchang A-5C
Mirage III
Mirage IIIEA/DP ROSE I, Mirage EL

LB
TA

OCU
TA
TA, AD
PAF Mirage III ROSE alert scramble competition Falcon Air Meet 2010.jpg
No. 8 Sqn Haiders 1960—
1982—
1993—
B-57 Canberra
Mirage 5
Mirage 5VPA2/3

TA, AD
Formed as part of No. 31 Bomber Wing on 11 May 1960, equipped with the B-57 Canberra and lead by Squadron Leader Muhammad Iqbal. Disbanded and resources amalgamated with No. 7 Squadron after the 1965 Indo-Pak War due to B-57 spare parts supply being stopped by United States. Re-activated with Dassault Mirage 5 in 1982.[1]
No. 9 Sqn Griffins 1943
1943—1947
1947—1950
1950—1961
1961—1971
1973—1977
1977—1984
1984—2012
2012—


Tempest II
Fury FB.60
F-104A
Mirage 5PA
Mirage 5PA
F-16A/B Block 15
F-16AM/BM Block 15 MLU





TA
OCU
MR
MR
Second unit to be equipped with the F-16. Credited with 3 kills: two Su-22 on 17 May 1986 by Squadron Leader Mohammed Yousaf and an An-26 on 30 March 1987 by Squadron Leader Sikander Hayat. Equipped with the ATLIS II targeting pod in 1987 for ground attack role.[2] Commanded by Wg. Cmd. Aamir Masood in 2006, who is now flying Sukhoi Su-30MKK with the Chinese Navy (PLAN).[3]
No. 10 Sqn 1959
1959—1960
2009—

B-57 Canberra
Il-78 Midas

OCU
MRTT
Established as the No. 10 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Squadron with delivery of the PAF's first Il-78 in December 2009 and operating from PAF Base Chaklala.[4]
No. 11 Sqn Arrows 1949
1949—1949
1951—1956
1956—1966
1966—1983
1983—


Attacker
F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6
F-16A/B Block 15

LB
FI
FB
AS
MR, OCU
First PAF squadron to operate a jet-powered fighter.[citation needed]
No. 12 Sqn Globe Trotters
1950—1950
1951—1953
1953—?

Presently

Halifax Mk.6/Mk.8
Halifax Mk.6/Mk.8 ?
Viking, Dakota, Fury, Halifax
A-310,B707,Phenom 100,Gulf Stream IV
Made No. 12 Composite Squadron in September 1953.[citation needed]
No. 13 Sqn
2009—

Saab 2000 Erieye

AEW&C
First Saab 2000 Erieye delivered December 2009.[5]
No. 14 Sqn Tail choppers 1948
1948—1949
1949—
1956—1971
1972—1986

1986—1993
1993—



F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6, FT-6
F-16
F-7P




OCU
A pilot was lost when he ejected over the Himalayas while ferrying an FT-6 from China in May 1977.[citation needed]
No. 15 Sqn Cobras 1956
1956—1973
1973—1976
1976—1993
1993—1997
1998—

F-86 Sabre, T-33
Shenyang F-6
Shenyang F-6
Chengdu F-7P
Mirage IIIRP/EP,Mirage VPA,VDA,DR

TA

AS

TA
Number-plated in August 1997, was scheduled to convert to ex-French Mirages in the tactical attack role.[citation needed]
No. 16 Sqn Panthers 1957
1957—1963
1970—1972
1982—1983
1983—2011
2011—

F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6
A-5C, FT-6
JF-17 Thunder
TA


TA
MR
OCU
Became the Fighter Leaders School in 1971. First squadron to fly A-5C, first A-5s landing at PAF Base Rafiqui on 12 February 1983. Converted pilots of No. 7 and No. 26 Squadrons to fly the A-5. Flew against the F-16 extensively during dissimilar aircraft combat training (DACT) in 1985.[citation needed] Also flew 1v1 DACT missions against the F-7P in 1988. In 1990, Wing Commander Zafar took part in an evaluation of the Nanchang A-5M and A-5F.[citation needed] Officially converted to the JF-17 Thunder on 11 April 2011. [6]
No. 17 Sqn Tigers 1957
1958—1977
1977—2001
2001—

F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6
F-7PG
Operated F-6 from 1977 to 2001.[7]
No. 18 Sqn War Hawks 1958
1958—1980
1981—1989
1989—
1999—

F-86 Sabre
Mirage 5
Chengdu F-7P
Chengdu F-7P

TA
TA

OCU
Previously named Sharpshooters.[citation needed]
No. 19 Sqn Sherdils

(English: Lion-hearted)
1958
1958—1977
1977—1989
1990—2014

2014—

F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6
Chengdu F-7P/FT-7
F-16A/B Block 15 ADF

AS
AS
OCU

MR, AD
(NoteNot to be confused with PAF aerobatics Team Sherdils.)
No. 20 Sqn Eagles 1956
1956—1972
1972—1986
1986—1988
1988—?
Presently

RT-33
Mirage IIIRP
Shenyang F-6
Chengdu F-7P
Chengdu F-7PG

PR
TA, PR
AS
No. 22 Sqn Ghazis 1984 Mirage IIIDF,IIIDA,EL,DL OCU
No. 23 Sqn Talons 1961
1961—1964
1966—
1975—2002
2002—

Hawker Fury
Shenyang F-6

Chengdu F-7PG




AS
F-6 retired in 2002.[8]
No. 24 Sqn Blinders 1962
1962—1977
1987—

RB-57
Falcon DA-20

ELINT
EW
Pakistan Air Force No 24 Blinders Squadron Falcon DA-20 left side1.jpg
No. 25 Sqn Night Strike Eagles 1966
1966—1995
1996—1998
1997—

Shenyang F-6
Mirage III ROSE I
Mirage 5VEF ROSE II, IIIDP



TA
One of the first two squadrons to be equipped with the Shenyang F-6.[citation needed] Changed to specialist night attack role in March 1997.[citation needed]
No. 26 Sqn Black Spiders 1967
1967—1980
1980—1984
1984—2011
2010—

F-86 Sabre
Shenyang F-6
A-5C
JF-17 Thunder


AS
TA
MR
No. 27 Sqn Zarrars 2007
2007—

Mirage IIIDP ROSE III, VEF

TA
Named after Hazrat Zarrar Bin Al Azwar (RA), the favorite Lieutenant of Hazrat Khalid Bin Walid (RA).[9][10]
Sherdils 1972—2010
2010—
T-37 Tweet
K-8 Karakorum
The Sherdils Squadron is the aerobatics display team of the Pakistan Air Force Academy, based at PAF Risalpur. The team flew the T-37 Tweet until circa 2010, when they switched to the K-8 Karakorum, and is composed of instructors of the Basic Flying Training (BFT) Wing.
No. 81 Sqn Kangaroos Alouette 3 SAR Stationed at PAF Base Peshawar.[11]
No. 82 Sqn Alouette 3 SAR Stationed at PAF Base Mushaf.[12]
No. 83 Sqn Dolphins Alouette 3, Mi-171Sh SAR Stationed at PAF Base Masroor.[13]
No. 85 Sqn Alouette 3 SAR Stationed at PAF Base Samungli.[14]
No. 86 Sqn Ababeel Alouette 3 SAR Stationed at PAF Base Mianwali.[15]
No. 87 Sqn Alouette 3 SAR Stationed at PAF Base Minhas.[16]
CCS Skybolts
Mirage 5PA
Mirage IIIEA

ATT
Combat Commanders School (CCS), named Skybolts.[citation needed]
CCS Dashings
1976—1992
1992—

Shenyang F-6
Chengdu F-7P

ATT
Combat Commanders School (CCS).[17]

Key:

  • AD = Air Defence
  • AS = Air Superiority
  • MR = Multi-role
  • MRTT = Multi-Role Tanker Transport
  • OCU = Operational Conversion Unit
  • PR = Photographic survey and Reconnaissance
  • TA = Tactical Attack
  • MS = Maritime Support
  • ATT = Advanced Tactics/Training
  • HB = Heavy Bomber
  • LB = Light Bomber
  • FI = Fighter Interceptor
  • FB = Fighter Bomber

Inactive squadrons[edit]

Squadron Operational Aircraft Role Comments
No. 4 Squadron 1959—1969

1959—1960


1960—1969


SA-16 Albatross
Bristol Freighter

SA-16 Albatross
Sikorsky H-19D


MR
T

MR
SAR
Formed on 15 August 1959 with four Bristol Freighters and four Grumman SA-16 Albatross amphibious aircraft, two of which were transferred from No. 12 squadron. Strength reduced to two SA-16 and two Sikorsky H-19D on 8 July 1960. SA-16 aircraft taken out of service on 19 August 1968, later followed by the H-19D. Squadron "number-plated" in March 1969.[citation needed]
JF-17 TEF 2007—2010 JF-17 T&E Established on 20 February 2007 as JF-17 Test and Evaluation Flight, commanded by Wg Cdr Ahsan Rafiq and stationed at PAF Base Minhas, Kamra. Transformed into No. 26 Black Spiders Squadron on 18 February 2010 when No. 26 officially converted from the Nanchang A-5C to the JF-17.[18]

Key:

SAR = Search and Rescue

MR = Maritime Reconnaissance

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gp Capt SULTAN M HALI. "B-57 THE INTREPID BOMBER OF PAF". Defence Journal. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "9 sqn "Griffins" (PAF)". www.f-16.net. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Viper Driver Flying Hours - Wg.Cmd. Aamir Masood". www.f-16.net. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Warnes, Alan (July 2010). "On The Edge". Air Forces Monthly (United Kingdom: Key Publishing Limited) (July 2010): Page 56. Retrieved 9 July 2010. "Last year saw the delivery of the first Il-78 Midas air-to-air refueller and also the first Russian aircraft into the inventory - hence the R in front of the serial. The newly established 10 Multi Role Tanker Transport Sqn at Chaklala operates the aircraft, which will be joined by a second example." 
  5. ^ Warnes, Alan (July 2010). "On The Edge". Air Forces Monthly (United Kingdom: Key Publishing Limited) (July 2010): Page 59. Retrieved 9 July 2010. "After years of trying to acquire a much needed airborne early warning platform, Pakistan's first Saab 2000 Erieye was officially inducted into service, with 13 Squadron, on December 29, 2009. A second example followed in late April and the third and fourth will follow by the end of the year." 
  6. ^ "JF-17 build-up progresses". 12 April 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.defencejournal.com/2002/may/salute.htm
  8. ^ http://www.defencejournal.com/2002/may/salute.htm
  9. ^ "New Fighter Squadron added to Pakistan Air Force". Article. Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan Times. April 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "PAF gets new Mirage fighter squadron". Article. www.webindia123.com. April 20, 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  11. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  12. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  13. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  14. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  15. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  16. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/mil/3/pakaf/orbat.htm
  17. ^ "History of F-6". [www.f-6fighter.com f-6fighter.com]. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Warnes, Alan (July 2011). "JF-17 - Thunder from the East". Air Forces Monthly (Key Publishing) (#280): 47–70. 

Bibliography[edit]