Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sonic Boom over Amritsar

On 5th September, overjoiced by their first confirmed kill (a Sabre was lost to a Gnat a day earlier), IAF flew large formations of Hunters, MiG-21Fs, Gnats, Mystere IV-As and Canberras close to the border cities of Lahore, Gujranwala and Gujrat region. This was their show of power that they can attack anywhere in large numbers. Interceptions were called but no contact were made with the enemy as the IAF aircraft managed to get a clean getaway. 

The PAF higher command wanted to send a clear warning message to Indians, not to mess with Pakistan and the PAF was fully capable to meet the challenges. The war was not officially declared at that time. So F/L Farooq Umar, who was on dusk CAP mission over Kashmir, was ordered by the PAF CAS to break the sound barrier over the famous Indian city. He reached the city and crossed the sound barrier at low altitude. The PAF CAS Air Marshall Nur Khan, not satisfied, ordered for a second pass. The Starfighter came in again, this time in opposite direction and rocked the city with massive sonic booms. There was panic on the ground and even IAF did not come to intercept. Later that evening, All India Radio announced that Pakistan had rocketed Amritsar city!!!! Despite Indian Ack ack, F-104 headed back to Sargodha unscratched and landed safely. The war was still to come.

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