Wing commander Latif jumped and ran hard as the scramble alert blared over the underground aircraft shelter. After hostilities breaking out with India this base has been on a constant state of alert but strangely the no strike so far have been mounted specifically against Sargoda till . It was ,Latif knew to good a thing to last long .
Though on OPR to ensure safety the two squadrons have been dispersed into dug out hard shelters in the surrounding hill side quite close to special weapons storage silo an euphemism for nuclear free fall bombs .While this made the aircraft comparatively safe against a sneak long range missile attack also made them some what slow in response to a quick scramble advisory as of today .The taxi track pained greenish brown was almost 5 km from the take off position of both the main runway and it will take him atleast 7 minutes of fast taxi before starting take off roll .
This made the whole flight group vulnerable standing on an exposed taxi track with hot exhaust and engines . Latif cursed the old air marshals who make such silly operatin decisions as he climbed up the aluminum ladder .
- tower – viper lead –request immdediate taxi clearance – over
While waiting for clearance his hand moved fast over the assorted switches and levers as he rushed through a much shortened take off check list ,fortunately his aircraft was already pre flighted ,the taxi clearance came in quickly
- vipe lead – tower –cleared to taxi – no speed restriction –looks like a massive raid –over
- copy that tower – rolling now –over
The eight F-16 s started rolling in tandem and quickly accelerated to the hammer head .
The Pakistan Air Force currently has the Block 15 F-16A/B model in operation, which has an upgraded APG-66 radar that brings it close to the MLU (Mid-life Update) radar technology. The main advantage is the ability to use the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles if they were ever to be released to the PAF. Furthermore, the radar is capable of sorting out tight formations of aircraft and has a 15%-20% range increase over previous models. All the earlier F-16s were brought up to OCU standards and have received the Falcon UP structural modification package. Currently, Pakistani F-16s typically carry two all-aspect AIM-9L Sidewinders on the wing tip rails along with a pair of AIM-9P-4's on the outermost underwing racks, while the Matra Magic 2 (French counterpart of the Sidewinder) can be carried as well. They also have an important strike role, being capable to deliver Paveway laser-guided bombs. Pakistani F-16s are also capable of firing the French AS-30 laser guided missile. The ALQ-131 pod is carried as ECM protection.
Pakistan was the second nation (after Israel) to use the F-16 in combat. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 in support of the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which was being hard-pressed by Mujahadeen rebel forces, marked the start of a decade-long occupation. Mujahadeen rebels continued to harass the occupying Soviet military force as well as the forces of the Afghan regime that it was supporting. The war soon spilled over into neighboring Pakistan, with a horde of refugees fleeing to camps across the border in an attempt to escape the conflict. In addition, many of the rebels used Pakistan as a sanctuary from which to carry out forays into Afghanistan, and a steady flow of US-supplied arms were carried into Afghanistan from staging areas in Pakistan near the border. This inevitably resulted in border violations by Soviet and Afghan aircraft attempting to interdict these operations. Between May 1986 and November of 1988, PAF F-16s have claimed to shot down at least eight intruders from Afghanistan. The first three of these (one Su-22, one probable Su-22, and one An-26) were shot down by two pilots from No. 9 Squadron. Pilots of No. 14 Squadron destroyed the remaining five intruders (two Su-22s, two MiG-23s, and one Su-25). Most of these kills were by the AIM-9 Sidewinder, but at least one (a Su-22) was destroyed by cannon fire. Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mamood is credited with three of these kills. At least one F-16 was lost in these battles, this one in an encounter between two F-16s and six Afghan Air Force aircraft on April 29th, 1987. However, the lost F-16 appears to have been an 'own goal', having been hit by a Sidewinder fired by the other F-16. The unfortunate F-16 pilot (Flight Lieutenant Shahid Sikandar Khan) ejected safely.
HAWK EYE FLIGHT –A-50I- PHALCON X1 + 4 X SU-30MKI -0437 HRS -11000 MTR
- sir –aircraft launch alert – 8 falcons taxing to take off position run way 09 –sargoda –estimated time for take off 2 minutes
- very well –keep close watch tell me when they start take off roll
- blue death sigma – we have a long range missile strike mission for you – do you copy
- copy hawk eye – blue death lead – standing by for long range missile launch
- blue death flight – 8 falcons on runway – target co ordinates ----- launch in 60 seconds – you are weapons free only on this target – give a 2 degree spread to cover the runway and anti defenses around – you are cleared to active –over
- going active hawk eye –blue death lead – distance to target 110 km and closing-speed 2100 – changing course to 018 –altitude 4000 meters –over
- copy that blue death flight –cleared to descend to 4000 meter and heading 018 –the first falcon is ready for take off – you are weapons free –over
- copy weapons free – have target locked – standby for weapon launch
- Sir the falcons have started their take off run – looks like they are doing a formation take off in pairs – 4 have reached V1 – rest have just started rolling
- Blue death lead –hawk eye – launch weapons now –over
- Launch weapons – copy – 3 2 1 –weapon launched –hawk eye – time to impact 2.2 minutes
BLUE DEATH SIGMA FLIGHT -0443 -70 KM FROM SARGODA
Each fo the flankers dropped a single KH 59 ME dropped clear of the centre line pylons ,pushed out by a small hydraulic plunger into the slipstream . Exactly 3.5 seconds after separation from its mother aircraft the microprocessor triggered a tiny electronic signal to close the pyro based rocket ignition circuit connected to rockets own batter powered circuit and the solid motor ignited with a blinding flash and thunder clap noise . Flying at just under the speed of sound the missiles carrying a mix of fragmentation and shaped charge high explosive war head arced through the dar sky on tail of yellowish orange fire and approached the pre determined target in a shallow turning dive through a hail of anti aircraft gun fire and randomly fired anti air craft fire . By the time they reached the runway and exploded 4 of the falcons have already taken off and the 5 th one was already rotating . The rest three still runway was just gone as the thousands of tiny shrapnel’s ripped through their thin skin and their live engines. Three fire balls erupted on the sky .The effect of the KH 59 s were more horrific on the anti aircraft gunners manning the battery of guns as both end of the runway .Most of them were shred to pieces as they kept on firing at the unseen enemy.
-blue death sigma –lead – hawk eye –five repeat five falcons in air – turning into intercept course – range 70 km – speed 600 kmph- altitude – 900 meters –take them out
- copy that hawk eye – understand weapons free on this target- engaging now –over
- blue death sigma 2 3 4 – I am taking the lead pair – wind you take the other two -3 and 4 stay in stand by mode
Squadron leader Bhandari smoothly turned into the attacking enemy ,who was still trying to climb to a respectable altitude and clicked open the plastic cover of fire button as he moved the power setting to max after burner for a classic head on active radar shot . The mission computer checked the targets and automatically assigned threat priority the one closest being assigned highest threat classification .
The SHOOT prompt came the HUD few seconds later – range to target 63 km -59 -53 km
Bhandari did not hesitate as he calmly squeezed the button four times and one by one the 4 R-77 dropped free ,lit their tails and raced forward to the incoming falcons .Bhandari kept the radar lock but reduced power by coming off the after burner as he eye balled the missiles to perfect beyond visual shot .The digital clock showed time to impact at 46 seconds .Bhandari quickly selected R-73 as first of the missiles hit home and one of the target flags on his radar screen went followed quickly by the second .
-hawk eye – blue death sigma lead –splash two falcons
- blue death sigma two –take your shot –now
Four more R-77 came off the aircraft and raced forward .This time they were not that effective as the falcons have achieved combat speed and altitude . The falcons switched on their powerful jammers and turned outward leaving behind a dozen chaff bundles .Only one of the four missiles found the mark
- hawk eye –blue death sigma two –splash one falcon
- copy that blue death one and two – your kills are on record in color –good hunting – now close and take out the rest – we have a large package incoming.
The eight flankers once again lit their afterburner and raced forward .About the same time the first of the SAM s leapt of a concealed launcher and started climbing directly towards the flanker flight on a pillar of white smoke and fire .The radar warning receivers blipped shrilly and the flankers broke formation just like in an air show in a shower of chaff and flare.