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F-6 of Pakistan Air Force

Once Upon A Time Cobra's In Peshawar.

During the expansion of the PAF following the mutual assistance agreement with the USA, No 15 Squadron was formed on 05 June 1956 at PAF Base, Mauripur; it was designated as a tactical attack squadron. A Cobra was chosen as the squadron insignia. Flight Lieutenant S N Hassan was the first officer posted on the strength of 15 Squadron on 25 May 1956. By the middle of June 1956 the squadron had received its first aircraft, a T-33, allotted for transition and instrument flying. The first F-86s were received on 20 July 1956.

It was on 04 September 1956 that the first of the legendary F-86s lifted into the skies of Pakistan and 15 Squadron is proud that the aircraft belonged to it. On 05 September 1956 Squadron Leader S M Ahmed, the Squadron Commander, became the first pilot to cross the sound barrier and create a sonic bang in Pakistani airspace. On 22 December 1956 the F-86s of Nos 11 and 15 Squadrons took part in the first formation aerobatics demonstration on Sabres, which was witnessed by the visiting Chinese Premier Mr. Zhou Enlai.

History was created on 02 February 1958, when 16 Sabres performed a loop in close formation. This unprecedented event was witnessed by King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan alongwith President Iskander Mirza. A number of 15 Squadron pilots, including its CO, belonged to this historic 'Falcons' team. On 11 February 1958 the squadron bid farewell to Mauripur and moved to Peshawar.

10 April 1959 was a special Eid for No 15 Squadron. On that day of festivity two Cobras were scrambled at 0715 hours to intercept an intruding aircraft which upon being identified as an IAF Canberra was shot down. Flight Lieutenant Yunis of 15 Squadron created history by being the first Pakistani pilot to shoot down a hostile aircraft. The first PAF jet fighter (Cobra) that shot down an enemy aircraft was F-86F Sabre No55-005 of No 15 Squadron. The Squadron was also known as the "Cobras". Flying this aircraft, Flight Lieutenant M Younis downed an Indian Air Force Canberra while it was on a photo-reconnaissance mission high over the Rawalpindi area on 10 April 1959, an Eid day. Pilot Officer Rab Nawaz was the Air Defence Controller on radar for this mission.

The squadron moved to Samungli in July 1962, and then to Sargodha in October 1963. Here the squadron once again showed its mettle when on 1st September 1965 Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti shot down two IAF Vampires in the Chamb sector, for which he was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. 15 Squadron flew a number of strike, close 1965 War.

In July 1973, the unit was reequipped with the F-6.

In recognition of its commendable performance over a span of twenty years, the squadron was presented with a color by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Fazal Elahi Chaudhry at an elegant ceremony held at PAF Base, Peshawar on 9th January 1976. The role of the squadron was also changed at that time to that of an air superiority squadron.

A Chinese-built MiG-19 with US-supplied Sidewinder air-to-air missiles - surely a unique example of American-designed armament toted by a Soviet-designed fighter built without benefit of a manufacturing license by the Chinese!

imitations but PAF managed to upgrade time to time. Here is the complete list of F-6 upgradations in PAF.


Air Marshal Nur Khan checks one of the first F-6 (MiG-19) delivered to Pakistan.


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