25/05: Cheapest Air KillThe narrative below describes how PAF was the first air force to destroy a fighter without using even a single bullet. A PAF air controller hacked the VHF of the IAFs jet and then misguided him thus he crashed.
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The morning of 7th December was quite hazy, particularly at lower altitudes where the dust of Punjab plains mingled with the moist, cold air, giving the sky murky appearance. It was just four days since the 1971 Indo-Pak war had broken out. While the PAF was conserving its air effort in the early stages of war, IAF's intensity of air operations was building up at a fast pace.
Flight Officer Man Mohan Singh was ferrying a Gnat from Halwara, to beef up a detachment of No 2 Squadron at Amritsar where these aircraft were deployed to perform air defense duties. As Mohan was nearing home, the controller at Amritsar Radar asked him to delay his landing while a pair of Su-7s took off. After holding off for few minutes, Mohan resumed a northerly heading for the base. All of a sudden, the controller frantically shouted on the radio to announce the presence of interceptors in the Gnat's rear quarters!
Squadron Leader Farooq Haider, a veteran of the '65 War, was sitting as the duty controller in No 403 Radar Squadron which was located in the outskirts of Lahore. Watching the radar scope intently, he had picked up a blip as it approached Tarn Taran, south of Amritsar. With the adversary nearing its home Base, Farooq had to act fast. He commenced the interception with steady instructions on the radio.
"Your target now over Tarn Taran, heading 360; do not acknowledge."
"Target 20 (degrees) right, five (miles), turn hard left 360, do not climb; do not acknowledge."
" Target 12 o' clock, two (miles), go full bore; do not acknowledge."
"Okay, target is one mile ahead..."