Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is one of the strongest air forces in the world. As per the 2017 report released by the International Institute of Strategic Institute (IISS), PAF is based on a team of 70,000 highly trained personnel. It has around about 755 operational aircraft ensuring the aerial defence of Pakistan. Before taking a detailed look at Pakistani fighter jets, let’s explore what makes the defence mechanism of these jets so robust.
Features of a Fighter Plane
Designed specifically for air-to-air combat, fighter planes used by the Pakistan Air Force comprise an aerodynamic design, cutting edge features and advanced weaponry. These machines can effectively strike distant targets in the air and on the ground and have the capability to easily go over 2000 kilometres per hour when flying at full speed, breaking the sound barrier.
List of Pakistani Fighter Jets Currently in Service
Here’s the list of military aircraft that are currently in use of Pakistan Air Force (PAF)
- General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
- CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder
- Dassault Mirage III
- Dassault Mirage 5
- Chengdu F-7P/PG (Pakistan F-7)
Now let’s take a look at the specification of these PAF fighter jets that distinguish them from each other.
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Based on a single engine, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a supersonic multirole fighter plane. This super-fast machine – with a top speed of around 2,414 kilometres per hour – is actually manufactured by a US based company named General Dynamics.
Key features of F-16 military aircraft includes frameless bubble canopy, side-mounted control stick, an agile flight control system and up to eleven locations to mounting weapons along with other mission equipment. The official name of F-16 aircraft is Fighting Falcon.
CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder
Jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), JF-17 Thunder is a single-engine, lightweight aircraft that can be used for ground attack, aircraft interception and aerial reconnaissance.
These PAF fighter jets features a cockpit with an acrylic canopy, providing pilot with an all-round field of view, hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls and a zero-zero ejection seat. Talking about weaponry specifications of JF-17 Thunder, it is worth noting that this fighter plane has the capacity to carry 3,629 kg of payload when airborne.
Dassault Mirage III
Dassault Mirage III is one of the most powerful Pakistani fighter jets. It belongs to a family of single-seat, single-engine, lightweight aircraft. This military aircraft is produced and exported by Dassault Aviation – a French company.
Dassault Mirage III used by the Pakistan Air Force features a bubble canopy, for better viewing and targeting. It is equipped with high tech flight control system along with Global Position System for providing adequate assistance to the pilots. This aircraft is capable of carrying up to 4000 kg of payload during flights.
Dassault Mirage 5
Recognized as a supersonic aircraft, Dassault Mirage 5 is an updated version of Dassault Mirage III. Both of these fighter jets have quite similar design. This aircraft plays a very important role in the fleet of fighter planes of Pakistan Air Force since it is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Mirage 5 aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of around 2,350 kilometres per hour.
With a combat range of 1,250 kilometre, the cockpit of these PAF fighter jets has a twin-seater pilot tube in the form of a bubble canopy, providing better visibility to the pilot. Dassault Mirage 5 has more fuel storage capacity than Mirage III military aircraft in Pakistan. A maximum war load of 4000 kg can be attached to this fighter plane.
Chengdu F-7P/PG, popularly known as Pakistan F-7 in our country, is a military aircraft developed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). Its design has been inspired by MiG-21 Aircraft, which is a Russian Aircraft having a similar built. It is also a single-engine, lightweight aircraft with an effective avionic system.
Pakistan F-7 aircraft is equipped with a GEC-Marconi Avionics Head-Up Display and Weapon Aiming Computer (HUDWAC), bombing navigation and global positioning systems. Furthermore, this military aircraft in Pakistan has the capacity of carrying a payload of up to 2,000 kg.
Air Shows and Flypasts
Pakistan Air Force keep on coming up with enchanting displays of air shows and flypasts. Almost all the active Pakistani fighter jets participate in these events. Flown by highly trained pilots, these aircraft show incredible performance showing off their capabilities as well as entertaining people. Normally, flypasts and air shows are organised to commemorate patriotic occasions like Pakistan Resolution Day (23rd March), Defence Day (6th September) and Independence Day (14th August), which are also normally observed as national holidays in Pakistan.
Pakistan Air Force Museum, popularly known as PAF Museum, is one of the most popular museums in Karachi. It is a place where you can actually know the history of Pakistan Air force and get an up-close look at the equipment used by it to protect the airspace of Pakistan. A large number of aircraft, radars, and weapons are on display in the open-air facility surrounding the museum.
However, the main museum building features almost all of the major fighter planes of Pakistan that have been used by Pakistan Air Force for the aerial defence of the country over the past seven decades. While visiting this museum in Karachi, you can know about the history of fighter jets used by armed forces around the world and take a look at their models.
So, have you ever been to PAF Museum or an air show or a flypast? How was it? Let us know about your experience at email@example.com.
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