Below is a list of some brave men of PAF who fought for their country
courageously and brought glory to their service. Although it mentions PAF pilots
only but the successful engagements they had were made possible only by the
impressive team work of aeronautical engineers, radar controllers and other
This list is not complete and I have mentioned very few of the significant historical events in PAF history that are associated with them. Note that the officer ranks mentioned here were at the time of event.
(Late) Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas
Officer Rashid Minhas is the recipient of Nishan-i-Haider,
Pakistan's highest military award.
(Late) Sqn. Ldr. Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui
Sqn. Ldr. S. A. Rafiqui shot down 3 Indian planes (2 Vampires
and 1 Hunter) in the war of 1965.
Sqn. Ldr. Muhammad Mahmood Alam
M. M. Alam is so far the top scorer fighter pilot of PAF. In the
war of 1965, he shot down 9 Indian planes (5 in one sortie) and
damaged another 2.
Flt. Lt. Khalid Mehmood
Lt. Khalid Mehmood of No. 14 Squardon (PAF Minhas) shot down 3
Afghan fighters (2 MiG-23s and 1 Su-22) while flying in an F-16.
(Late) Sqn. Ldr. Abdul Hameed Qadri
Ldr. Qadri of No. 9 Squardon (PAF Sargodha) shot down 2 Afghan
Su-22s on May 17, 1986. While on a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) with
his No. 2, he was directed by the radar controller to intercept
4 enemy planes violating Pakistani air space near Parachinar.
The pilots took the appropriate offensive position and after
visually identifying the targets, Sqn. Ldr. Qadri shot down 2 of
them, one with a AIM-9L sidewinder and the other with guns. He
did an outstanding job of engaging the targets, maintaining
excellent situation awareness, and remaining extremely cool in
trying conditions. The PAF awarded Sitara-i-Basalat to Squadron
Leader Hameen Qadri. He is seen in the picture on the left
beside the wing of SU-22.
PAF suffered yet another loss on July 20, 2002 when A. H. Qadri (then Air Commodore and Base Commander PAF Minhas-Kamra) died in an air crash while flying a F-7P aircraft.
(Late) Wg. Cmdr. Abdul Razak
Wing Commander Razak successfully intercepted and shot down an Afghan AN-26 in 1987 near Miranshah.
On March 30, 1987, after taking off from PAF Minhas in an F-16, Wing Commander Abdul Razzak and his No. 2, Squadron Leader Sikander Hayat were vectored towards two slow speed intruders that the controller visualized to be electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft heading towards a radar position at Parachinar. He had no hesitation in the existing wartime conditions, to permit the F-16s to shoot down the military transport aircraft, which though unarmed was violating Pakistan air space. After identifying the one enemy plane as an AN-26 tranport plane, both Wg. Cmdr. Razak and Sqn. Ldr. Hayat launched their heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Both the two missiles connected and the enemy aircraft crashed on snow-clad mountains below. He did an outstanding job of remaining cool and skillful during the intercept.
Tragically, A. Razaq (while at the rank of Air Vice Marshal) died in a plane crash on February 20, 2003 near Kohat Air Base. Other victims of the crash included the chief of air staff (Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir) and 15 other airforce officers.
Sqn. Ldr. Badar-ul-Islam
Sqn. Ldr. Badar shot down an Afghan Su-22 in 1987 while serving with No. 14 Squardon (PAF Minhas). On April 16, 1987 he took-off in an F-16 at 0630 hours with his No. 2 Sqn. Ldr. Pervaiz Murwat and headed towards the CAP area near Thal. After three or four orbits, the radar reported some activity well withen the Pakistani border and vectored the formation towards the intruders. The leader quickly got his No. 2 in shooter cover position and the two headed west in full burners. The leader picked up four blips on his radar scope , which was confirmed by the radar controller. At a distance of about 7 NM, the leader visually picked them up. Since it was early morning, with the sun behind him, the leader could easily see all four shining aircraft. He unleashed the Sidewinder missile at one of the aircraft and in a couple of seconds, there was a big red flash around the aircraft. It started to spiral towards the ground in a left-hand turn. They then returned to base. After examining all the evidence the PAF confirmed the kill.
Sqn. Ldr. Athar Bukhari
Sqn. Ldr. Athar Bukhari of No. 14 Squardon (PAF Minhas) became the first PAF pilot to shoot down a Russian aircraft. On August 04, 1988, Sqn. Ldr. Bukhari was asked to patrol near Bannu at a height of 10,000 ft. He was vectored on a heading of 300 degrees, and the controller reported the target 30 degree left, 15 NM. The contact was made and the GCI controller clearly told Bukhari to go ahead and shoot the target. The missile was launched from about 2.5 NM from the target which was soon followed by a ball of fire. Descending to 5,000 feet, and dispensing chaff and flares, the pilot then took a safe passage home.
The wreckage of the shot down aircraft was located, but not the pilot. The tribal people caught him the next evening and handed him over to the authorities. His name was Colonel Alexander Rutskoi who later became the Vice President of the Russian Federation. Both the pilot and the controller displayed calm professional competence in shooting down the first Soviet-piloted Su-25 aircraft at night. It was an excellent example of pilot-controller teamwork.