Monday, September 27, 2010

AIR WAR OF 1965 REVISITED - Final Result


During the war of 1965, there were several classic air to air combats. According to these combat reports we will assess the combat kills and losses by the Pakistan Airforce.

ANALYSIS OF AIR TO AIR COMBAT

2 PAF F-86F vs 4 IAF Vampires over Chamb on 1st September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      4 Vampires shot down (Bharadwaj, Bhagwadar, and Joshi killed in action, Pathak ejected)


2 PAF F-86F & 1 PAF F-104A Starfighter vs 4 IAF Gnats on 3rd September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Gnat air arrested and captured (Brij Pal Singh Sikand taken POW)


1 PAF F-86F vs 2 IAF Gnats on 4th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-86F Sabre shot down (Flg Off N M Butt ejected)
IAF losses:      nil

1 PAF F-104A Starfighter vs 4 IAF Mystere IV-As over Rahwali on 6th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Mystere IV-A (Pilot remained unidentified)

3 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 4 IAF Hunters over Taran Taran on 6th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Hunter downed in combat (Ajeet Kumar Rawley killed in action)


3 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 4 IAF Hunters over Halwara on 6th September 1965

PAF losses:     2 F-86F Sabres were shot down (Sqn Ldr Sarfaraz Raffiqui and Flt Lt Younis Hussain killed in action)
IAF losses:      2 Hunters were shot down (Pingale and Gandhi ejected)

 
1 PAF F-104 Starfighter vs 6 IAF Mystere IVAs over Sargodha on 7th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-104A Starfighter shot down (Flt Lt Amjad Hussain Khan ejected)
IAF losses:      1 Mystere IV-A shot down (Devayya killed in action)

4 PAF F-86F Sabres & 1 F-104A Starfighter vs 8 IAF Hunters over Sargodha on 7th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      3 Hunters shot down in action (Onkar Nath Kacker ejected, Bhagwat & Brar killed in action)

2 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 2 IAF Mystere IV-As over Sargodha on 7th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Mystere IV-A shot down (Babul Guha killed in action)


4 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 2 IAF Hunters over Kalaikunda on 7th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-86F Sabre shot down (Flt Lt Afzal killed in action)
IAF losses:      nil


2 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 4 IAF Gnats on 10th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Gnat downed (pilot killed over Indian territory)

2 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 4 IAF Gnats on 13th September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Gnat downed (Kale ejected)

2 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 2 IAF Hunters over Beas on 16th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-86F Sabre shot down in action (Flg Off Shaukat ejected and taken POW)
IAF losses:      1 Hunter downed (Bunsha killed in action)

4 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 4 IAF Gnats on 19th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-86F Sabre (Flt Lt S M Ahmad thrown clear)
IAF losses:      1 Gnat downed (Vijay Mayadev ejected and taken POW)

4 PAF F-86F Sabres vs 2 IAF Hunters & 2 IAF Gnats over Lahore on 20th September 1965

PAF losses:     1 F-86F Sabre (Flt Lt A H Malik ejected)
IAF losses:      2 Hunters shot down (Chatterjee and Sharma killed)


1 PAF F-104A Starfighter vs 1 IAF Canberra bomber on 22nd September 1965

PAF losses:     nil
IAF losses:      1 Canberra downed (Lt M M Lowe ejected, K K Kapoor killed)



Thus the result of the air war between PAF and IAF was:

8 PAF aircraft were shot down by IAF fighter pilots (7 F-86F Sabres and 1 F-104A Starfighter) with three PAF pilots attaining shahadat. 1 PAF Sabre was damaged beyond repair on 7th September 1965, but its pilot Flt Lt Tariq Habib Khan was able to bring it back to its base. This brings the total aircraft lost in aerial action to 9 aircraft.

20 IAF aircraft were shot down by PAF fighter pilots, with 14 pilots being killed in action. 1 IAF Gnat was captured intact after an aerial encounter. This brings the total aircraft lost in aerial action to 21 aircraft.


PAF LOSSES APART FROM AIR TO AIR COMBAT
It shall be noted that PAF lost:
*      3 F-86F Sabres in non combat related accidents,
*      1 F-86F Sabre to Amritsar ack ack,
*      1 F-86F Sabre was lost when it flew in the debris of an ammunition train which it rocketed during an interdiction mission over Gurdaspur, 
*      1 B-57 crashed near Jamnagar in a perfect case of CFIT due to over fatigued crew,
*      1 RB-57D was shot down by own ack ack at Rahwali,
*      1 B-57 was shot down over Adampur by ack ack,
*      1 B-57 crashed during landing,
*      and 1 F-104A Starfighter was lost when it tried to land during a sand storm at night.

TOTAL PAF LOSSES

Thus PAF aircraft lost to all causes during the war is 19 aircraft. PAF started the war with 98 Sabres, 12 F-104 Starfighters, 22 B-57B Bomber, 1 B-57C Trainer/Bomber and 2 RB-57D ELINT aircraft. After the war PAF flew 82 F-86 Sabres, 10 F-104 Starfighters and 20 B-57 bombers in which air attaches and media all over the world were invited to count the number of aircraft to disprove IAF claims of destroying the whole PAF. 6 more F-86F aircraft were also present in the maintenance depot and were shown to the media, while the sole RB-57D bomber was also parked at Masroor AFB.

TOTAL IAF LOSSES

IAF had 21 aircraft destroyed in air to air combat. Add to it the aircraft destroyed on ground during Pathankot, Kalaikunda, Sri Nagar and Baghdodra air strikes, aircraft destroyed during night B-57 raids, aircraft shot down by Pakistani air defence units and aircraft lost in attrition, the IAF losses crosses the mark of 50 with ease and lies somewhere between 75-100.

So if we assume that IAF lost ~ 60 aircraft, then compared to 19 odd PAF losses and the aerial superiority enjoyed by PAF during the war, the clear victor of this campaign was the Pakistan Air Force.

2 comments:

  1. Yawn! so why isn't Kashmir in pakistan? If the claim of PAF air superiority is true, Operation Gibralter should have been a success.It wasn't - so either this claim is false or the Pakistani army didn't do it's job...

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    1. If only modern warfare was that simple. The PAF was out numbered almost 5:1, or 3:1 by some sources. Even with an impressive kill ratio of 20:70, the PAF couldn't be expected to win the war single-handed. It's simply impossible for Pakistan to defeat India. At best, Pakistan must make India's war effort too expensive to maintain in both human & material terms, and that's exactly what the Pakistani Army did in 1965. Forcing a stalemate on a much larger enemy, and not only that, but also effectively advancing into Indian territory. Nonetheless the war was a stalemate, and both sides took heavy losses, in men, machines and territory. But if we look at military objectives, Operation Gibraltar was a failure, yes, but when the war broke out the PA's objective changed from the 'liberation' of Kashmir, to the protection of the country, while India's objective was to capture major cities of Pakistan, (as stated in The Australian, Mon Sep 13, 1965 & The Indian Express Tuesday, Sep 21, 1965) including Lahore & Sialkot, to permanently cripple Pakistan. India's objectives were not attained, whereas Pakistan's singular objective was. The Indian Forces failed to capture Lahore & Sialkot, although they did make significant advances into Pakistani territory on that front. However, Pakistani Forces also made significant headway in the Rajistan/Thar sector. Both armies, hence effectively neutralized each others gains. What's astonishing, however, is that the Pakistani forces managed to hold their own against a force almost 5 times their size. Consider the following analogy: A professional boxer being forced to draw a match with an inexperienced kid from the streets, with each claiming to have given the other a bloody nose. I don't know about you, but I'd be damned impressed by that kid.

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