Tensions between the two regional rivals spilled over into armed conflict with the Rann-of-Kutch dispute in April 1965. This was also the first time when PAF’s F-104s saw operational duties with a detachment of two F-104s sent to PAF Station Mauripur to reinforce the existing F-86F and B-57 squadrons. In order to avoid escalation of the conflict, PAF only undertook combat air patrols (CAP) well on its side of the border. During this period PAF made two interceptions of intruding IAF aircraft with one resulting in an IAF Ourgan surrendering to intercepting PAF Sabres by landing on Pakistani territory. The second interception of an IAF recce Canberra was made by a PAF Starfighter north-east of Sargodha. In this case the pilot visually tracked the intruding aircraft for 10 minutes but was under orders not to fire.
Thus before the war, No. 9 Squadron was on full strength and complete readiness. All the pilots had 3-4 years experience on this aircraft and were ready to take on against the Indians.