PKColumns

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1973 Arab-Israeli War and PAF Pilots

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.

On 23 October 1973, PAF pilot Flt. Lt. M. Hatif on deputation to Egyptian Air Force (EAF) was flying a EAF MiG-21 in a defensive combat air patrol (CAP) over Egypt when he was vectored towards an intruding Israeli Air Force (IDF/AF) F-4 Phantom. In the ensuing dogfight, Flt. Lt. M. Hatif shot down the Israeli Phantom.

Eight (8) PAF pilots started flying out of Syrian Airbases; they formed the A-flight of 67 Squadron at Dumayr Airbase. The Pakistani pilots flewSyrian MiG-21 aircraft conducting CAP missions for the Syrians.

On 26 April 1974, PAF pilot Flt. Lt. Sattar Alvi on deputation to No. 67 Squadron, Syrian Air Force (SAF) was flying a SAF MiG-21FL Fishbed (Serial No. 1863) out of Dumayr Air Base, Syria in a two-ship formation with a fellow PAF pilot and the Flight Leader, Sqn. Ldr. Arif Manzoor. The Ground Controller, also a PAF officer, Sqn. Ldr. Salim Metla, vectored the two PAF pilots to a formation of 2 Israeli Air Force Mirage IIICJs and 2 F-4 Phantoms that had intruded into Syrian airspace over the Golan Heights. In the engagement that took place at 1532 hours, Flt. Lt. Sattar Alvi shot down an Israeli Mirage IIICJ using his MiG-21's R(K)-13 Air-to-Air Missile. The pilot of the downed Israeli Mirage was Capt. M. Lutz of No. 5 Air Wing, who ejected. The remaining Israeli fighters aborted the mission. The 2 IAF Mirage IIICJs were from Hatzor AFB and the 2 IAF F-4 Phantoms were from No. 1 Air Wing, Ramat David AFB, Israel.

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.

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