Special Report On Induction Of JF-17 In No. 02 Minhas Squadron
By Abuzar Ilyas
Pakistan Air Force replaced its aging F-7P aircrafts from No. 02 Squadron (Minhas) with indigenously produced JF-17 Multi-Role Fighter Aircrafts. The squadron is currently deployed at PAF Masroor, an airbase in country’s economic hub Karachi.
F-7 is a Chinese variant of MIG-21 which was developed by USSR. Both F-7 and MIG-21 aircrafts have served many air forces in the world during last 6 decades and Pakistan’s arch adversary Indian Air Force is still using them since 1965.
PAF is currently operating with Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Fighting Falcons, Dassault’s Mirages, Chinese made F-7 P/PG Skybolts and locally produced PAC’s JF-17 Thunders for fighter, interceptor & multirole purposes.
Minhas is third squadron of PAF which is equipped with state of the art 4th Generation Thunder aircraft. Earlier in 2010 & 2011, No. 26 (Black Spiders) and No. 16 (Panthers) squadrons were equipped with JF-17s. Another squadron is also inducted in Combat Commanders School with CCS special markings for developing the tactics and strategies and for exploiting the complete potential of the aircraft.
PAF has an initial plan to procure 150 JF-17 Thunder aircrafts in order to fill the technological gap which was created in the last few years against the enemy. This aircraft and advanced F-16 Block 50/52 offers the cutting edge Beyond Visual Range (BVR) technology to PAF in its quest to maintain air-superiority in the skies of South Asia.