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Falcon down: Why Pakistan is desperate to fake the F-16 dogfight

Falcon down: Why Pakistan is desperate to fake the F-16 dogfight

The Pakistani army sucks at preventing – it has lost all four wars towards India – but in terms of lying, it’s in a league of its personal. All through its brief history Pakistan has tried to hide its fairly appreciable struggle losses while making extremely exaggerated claims about imaginary victories notched up by its armed forces. After many years of Islamist indoctrination, the Pakistani army establishment has turn out to be so deeply infected with the virus of jehad that it’ll never admit dropping to a ‘kafir’ nation. On this backdrop, the February 27 downing of a Pakistan Air Drive F-16 Falcon over Kashmir by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is unlikely to be acknowledged by Islamabad.

The rationale why it clings to lies and fakery is that for all its measurement the Pakistan army machine is a paper tiger that can’t battle India for various days. To shore up morale – and to maintain up the parable of the invincibility of the Pakistani soldier towards the ‘kafir’ Indian – the army has to current defeats as victory and on the similar time claim to have routed Indian forces. Though many Pakistani army officers and media commentators now agree that India defeated Pakistan in all 4 wars, the gullible plenty of that country remain convinced that Pakistan has by no means been defeated.

The Pakistanis know their claims will get traction in the West. As a result of most of Pakistan’s struggle preventing gear is of Western origin, Islamabad has plenty of supporters within the West, especially in the Pentagon – the US Defence Department – and the virulently anti-Indian left liberal media. The ingratiating behaviour of Pakistan Military generals has additionally endeared them to Westerners who back up their stories by offering ‘professional’ evaluation. Such evaluation is gamed from the start as a result of these so-called specialists are at greatest firm males or at worst charlatans. Nevertheless, they’ve one factor in widespread – they work for Western interests and are certainly not impartial or unbiased.

The newest instance of Western ‘specialists’ making an attempt to bolster the Pakistani narrative comes from Overseas Policy magazine which quotes two nameless American army officers on the F-16 capturing. The magazine stories that US defence personnel carried out a physical rely of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet and located none missing. The distinction this time was that the Pentagon shortly declared it wasn’t aware of such an investigation.

Limits of mendacity

Fact is the primary casualty of battle. All nations benefit from the fog of warfare to hide one’s personal setbacks while also denying the enemy’s victories. Since wars are a thoughts recreation, there’s little incentive handy the enemy any info that would give him a bonus or increase his morale.

On March 21, 2011 an American F-15 fighter implementing a no-fly zone was shot down by a Libyan air defence unit. The US Air Drive declared the cause of the crash as “lead ingestion”.

In the course of the 1991 Gulf Conflict, President George H. Bush boasted the Patriot three missile system had a 95 per cent interception fee. A yr later, Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how and Reuven Pedatzur of Tel Aviv University testified before a US Home Committee that in accordance with their unbiased evaluation of video tapes, the Patriot system very probably had a zero success fee.

On November 26, 1943 a Luftwaffe plane launched an Hs-293 glide bomb at the British troop transport ship Rohna, killing 1,149 American troopers. It was not until the 1960s that US authorities even admitted that Rohna had been sunk by a guided missile relatively than typical weapons.

Nevertheless, with Pakistan the equation is totally different. The Pakistani army leadership operates like a totalitarian state the place domestic opinion is all that issues. The population have to be stored at midnight concerning the failings of the army. To be able to convince the plenty they’re in good robust arms, the Pakistani army establishment indulges in what can only be described because the theatre of the absurd.

1965 Struggle drama

One of many largest lies peddled by Pakistan was the “30 seconds over Sargodha” incident. On September 7, at the peak of the 1965 Warfare, Mohammed Alam, a Pakistan Air Drive squadron leader, claimed he had shot down as many as five Indian Hunter aircraft in solely 23 seconds.

British writer John Fricker was commissioned by the PAF to write down a e-book, through which Fricker eulogised the Pakistanis. His ‘Battle for Pakistan – The Air Struggle of 1965’ made it to the stores only in 1979 as he couldn’t find a writer. Because he couldn’t narrate his tales quickly sufficient, Fricker wrote an article titled “30 Seconds Over Sargodha” which was revealed in ‘Aeroplane’ journal.

Fricker’s article popularised Alam’s claim within the West, the place they gleefully accepted such fiction as fact. There was an enormous sense of satisfaction in the West at India’s obvious failure. Cold Conflict and colonial biases had trumped logic and army aerodynamics.

Nevertheless, highly credible analysis by army historian Pushpinder Singh Chopra and others has shown that Alam was exaggerating. In an article titled ‘Laying the Sargodha Ghost to Rest’ Singh defined why the PAF backed Alam’s claims: “The individuals of Pakistan had to be re-assured their air drive’s tremendous image, rigorously cultivated through the years, was restored by examples of daring-do and glory.”

Not all Pakistanis, nevertheless, are delusional. Retired PAF air commodore S. Sajad Haider has demolished Alam’s claims in his exhaustive e-book ‘Flight of the Falcon: Demolishing Myths of the 1965 Warfare’. Referring to Alam as a “very unprofessional” pilot, Haider says: “It’s tactically and mathematically very troublesome to resurrect the incident through which all five Hunters in a tough flip have been claimed to have been shot down in a 270-degree turn in 23 seconds.”

Alam had stated he had blown away all five plane and that not one of the pilots have been capable of eject. On this Haider provides: “Logically, because the 5 have been claimed to have been shot down in 23 seconds, then they should all have crashed in close proximity. The conjecture that each one the remaining might have crashed after Eight-9 minutes of flying is superfluous and unworthy of the official PAF history.”

Even the PAF is having hassle swallowing such a blatant lie. In response to Bharat Rakshak, “While the PAF’s 1982 historical past accepts Alam’s story as advised by Fricker, the PAF’s 1988 history is surprisingly silent concerning the names. In truth, the PAF’s 1988 history does not even record the names of the five IAF pilots.”

This is not to say the Pakistanis have been chumps. On the contrary, on account of superior training as a part of Pakistan’s membership in Western army alliances, some have been wonderful flyers and gunners. The PAF also had giant numbers of the newest F-104 and F-86 jets whereas the IAF – because of Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister Krishna Menon’s neglect of the armed forces – was flying outdated World Warfare II aircraft. Nevertheless, PAF pilots appeared to have underestimated the IAF’s resolve; additionally they believed their President Ayub Khan’s declare that one Pakistani was equal to 3 Indians. In reality, Ayub had assured the army: “As a common rule, Hindu morale would not stand for greater than a couple of exhausting blows delivered on the right time and the suitable place.”

Spiritual fanaticism was additionally seen rearing its ugly head in the PAF, with many pilots believing they have been underneath divine safety. Alam, for example, turned an Islamic fundamentalist and berated his fellow officers and seniors who consumed alcohol. Not surprisingly, he was sidelined on the fairly amusing allegation that he could not learn or write. Submit retirement, he lived like a mullah, a virtual recluse. Had he been a real warfare hero, he wouldn’t have been handled in so humiliating a fashion.

Tank battle flip

“Pakistan Victorious” screamed the headline in The Australian, dated September 14, 1965, followed by this intro: “Pakistani forces have repulsed an enormous Indian armoured assault within the biggest tank battle because the African desert campaign of World Conflict II.”

The Australian media have been, at worse, liars or, at greatest, parroting a lie. In reality, the whole lot concerning the report was false. Firstly, the best tank battle since World Conflict II was the Battle of Asal Uttar where the Indian Military destroyed 70 Pakistani tanks. India additionally captured 25 tanks which have been abandoned by panic stricken Pakistani soldiers in the face of withering Indian hearth. So principally, the West flipped the report of an enormous Indian victory right into a Pakistani win.

Secondly, the best tank battle of World Warfare II was not in Africa, but in Kursk, Russia, where the Purple Military hammered the Germans. That is an instance of the Anglo-American media not eager to acknowledge an enormous Russian victory.

The point is that in some sections within the West there’s a great want to see India fail. It was like that through the Cold Struggle when Pakistan was a loyal sidekick and India a hated ally of Moscow; and it’s so right now. Nothing’s changed. The credibility of the “anonymous” specialists cited by Overseas Coverage journal have to be seen on this backdrop.

1971 Conflict: PAF caught fudging losses

This incident is eerily just like Overseas Coverage’s unsubstantiated F-16 rely. Through the 1971 Warfare the IAF notched up numerous air-to-air kills, notably of the Mirage-III fighter. After the struggle ended, as a way to dent India’s claims, the Pakistanis stated that they had acquired 24 Mirages from France and that that each one of them have been intact.

The PAF carried out a serious PR exercise, lining up 22 Mirage-III jets to point out that none had been misplaced in fight. Plus, the PAF claimed that one Mirage was written off in a coaching sortie prior to the warfare and another was undergoing repairs.

Nevertheless, in a serious embarrassment to Pakistan, the French aircraft maker Dassault revealed that the PAF had taken delivery of a minimum of 28 Mirage-IIIs in and not 24 Mirages as claimed by the PAF. Additional, Chris Bishop writes in The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare (2001 version) that six Mirages have been provided to the PAF throughout wartime by Libya. Because the IAF solely claimed one or two Mirage-IIIs confirmed as destroyed on the ground and one shot down by anti-aircraft artillery, it is quite probably that the Mirage did endure numerous air-to-air losses at the hands of IAF fighters.

Western bias: Chuck Yeager’s insupportable hatred

India gained the 1971 Warfare so decisively that the majority Pakistanis do not dispute their complete defence forces capitulated in a matter of days. Over 93,000 Pakistan Military troopers and officers have been held for a yr in Indian POW camps – cowering in worry from Bengali mobs – and it remains the only most humiliating episode in Pakistan’s history. It was also the most important capitulation in history – larger than the give up at Stalingrad of 91,000 German soldiers of Common Paulus’ Sixth Military. And yet a adorned American basic claims that Pakistan gained that warfare.

Chuck Yeager, a WW II fighter pilot and the primary individual to journey quicker than the velocity of sound, is so besotted with Pakistan that he claimed in a tweet on September 8: “……Pakistan gained. They are a sovereign nation. India didn’t annex them.”

Yeager’s hostility goes a great distance. In his autobiography, he wrote a variety of nasty things about Indians, including downright lies concerning the IAF’s efficiency. Among the many things he wrote was the air struggle lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis “kicked the Indians’ ass”, scoring a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and dropping 34 airplanes of their very own.

The truth is that it took the IAF just over every week to realize full domination of the subcontinent’s skies. A measure of the IAF’s air supremacy was the million-man open air rallies held by the Indian Prime Minister in northern Indian cities, every week into the warfare. This couldn’t have been potential if Pakistani planes have been still airborne.

The IAF did lose a barely larger number of aircraft (75 vs 58) but this was primarily because the Indians have been flying a broad vary of missions. Whereas Pakistani pilots have been obsessive about aerial combat, IAF techniques have been highly refined in nature, involving bomber escorts, tactical recce, ground assault and decoy runs to divert Pakistani interceptors away from the primary targets. Plus, the IAF had to reckon with the handfuls of recent aircraft being provided to Pakistan by Muslim nations like Jordan, Turkey and the UAE.

Most missions flown by Indian pilots have been carried out by day and at low degree, with the pilots making repeated assaults on nicely defended targets. Indian aircraft flew into Pakistani skies thick with flak, nearly non-stop through the 14-day struggle. Many Bengali guerrillas later informed the victorious Indian Military that it was the sight of epic air battles fought over their skies by IAF pilots and the sight of Indian aircraft diving in on Pakistani positions that impressed them to battle.

Indeed, Indian army historians like Chopra have painstakingly gathered the small print of nearly each sortie undertaken by the IAF and PAF and have tabulated the losses and kills on each side, to be able to nail the outrageous lies that have been peddled by the PAF and later gleefully revealed by Western writers.

In actuality the 1971 air struggle was an entire and utter rout for the PAF. Based on a report by Indranil Banerjie, Rupak Chattopadhyay and Air Marshal (retired) C.V. Gole titled ‘1971 India-Pakistan Warfare: The Air Warfare’, “By the top of the first week of the struggle, PAF fighters in the west appeared to have lost their will to struggle. By this time, the IAF was repeatedly hitting secondary targets together with railway yards, cantonments, bridges and different installations in addition to offering shut air help to the army wherever it was required. Probably the most harmful have been the shut air help missions which involved flying low and exposing plane to intense floor hearth. The IAF misplaced probably the most plane on these missions as is proved by the high losses suffered by IAF Sukhoi-7 and Hunter squadrons. However their pilots flew sortie after sortie keeping up with the military and disrupting enemy troop and tank concentrations.”

As soon as it was recognized that the Indian Army was knocking at the gates of Dhaka, the PAF within the west nearly gave up flying. “During the previous few days of the warfare, the IAF brass ordered assaults on PAF airfields with the only objective of drawing out their plane. However that not often succeeded as the PAF aircraft for probably the most half remained secured inside their pens, refusing to return out and battle.”

Even the Pakistanis agree that the PAF was too scared to battle. Lt. Gen. A.A.Okay. Niazi, the commander of the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan, wrote in his ebook The Betrayal of East Pakistan: “While the enemy was free to fly over our territory, Air Marshal M. Rahim Khan stored himself and his air pressure hidden through the battle.”

On December 11, with the PAF virtually neutralised and the Indian Army scything by way of East Pakistan in the direction of Dhaka, right here’s what Pakistan’s Morning News revealed on its front page: “Indian forces in East Wing endure vital losses.” The blatant mendacity continued even after Niazi and his 93,000 soldiers have been in Indian custody and Bengalis have been celebrating the start of Bangladesh. On December 17, the day after Pakistani forces had surrendered and the preventing had ended, here’s what the newspaper Dawn headlined: “Warfare Till Victory.”

You get the image: the Pakistani army management and civilian elites will never admit they’ve misplaced to India. They need to assure the plenty that the nation is in protected arms and that India has been checkmated. Sadly, the jehadi fervour of the typical Pakistani and the hatred of India and Hindus that is drilled into every Pakistani from childhood be sure that the individuals of Pakistan not often question their army’s competence – or the shortage of it.

The hazard for Pakistan is that the entire denial of past defeats – and the refusal to analyse these setbacks – will continue to value its armed forces dearly in future wars.

Featured Image: Pakistani Prisoners of Conflict 1971 (The Wire)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the private opinions of the writer. IndiaFacts doesn’t assume any duty or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any info on this article.

Rakesh is primarily a defence analyst. His articles have been quoted extensively by universities and in books on diplomacy, counter terrorism, warfare, and improvement of the worldwide south; and by worldwide defence journals.
Rakesh’s work has been cited by main assume tanks and organisations that embrace the Naval Postgraduate Faculty, California; US Military Conflict School, Pennsylvania; Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace, Washington DC; State College of New Jersey; Institute of Worldwide and Strategic Relations, Paris; BBC Vietnam; Siberian Federal College, Krasnoyarsk; Centre for Air Energy Research, New Delhi; Institute for Protection Analyses, Virginia; International Middle for Not-for-Revenue Regulation, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Overseas Policy Analysis Institute, Philadelphia; and Institute for Strategic, Political, Safety and Financial Consultancy, Berlin.
His articles have been revealed by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; Foundation Institute for Japanese Research, Warsaw; and the Analysis Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.