Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Remembering Chuck Yeager (1923-2020): Flying Legend Admired Pakistan Air Force Pilots

United States Air Force's legendary pilot Charles Yeager died on December 7, 2020 at the age of 97. He was a highly decorated soldier who was also awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award. He remained active on twitter until very recently. In a 2017 tweet, Yeager called Pakistan Air Force pilots "the best in the world".  In another tweet in 2015, Yeager said "they (PAF pilots) kicked the Indians butt". 

General Charles Yeager (1923-2020)

General Yeager got the world's attention as early as 1944 when he shot down 5 German fighter aircraft in a single day. Later, he became the first man to break the sound barrier. Yeager's life as a daredevil pilot was documented by Tom Wolf in his 1979 book "The Right Stuff" that was later made into a movie. Actor Sam Shepard played Yeager in the movie. 

@GenChuckYeager's 2015 Tweet

General Yeager, a colonel in 1971, served as an advisor to Pakistan Air Force. He was there during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Here's what he said about his experience in Pakistan:

"This Air Force (PAF), is second to none" "The air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below." "They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "

@GenChuckYeager's 2017 Tweet

In addition to serving in Pakistan, Yeager also worked as an advisor in the Philippinnes and Spain. In the 1950s and ’60s, Yeager commanded squadrons, rising to colonel and later to brigadier general. After his retirement, he continued flying for the Air Force and NASA in some capacity as well as performing test flights on light aircraft for Piper Aircraft.

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Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan-#China air exercise underway involving #combat missions, rigorous training missions, near realistic combat scenarios, consolidating #interoperability of #PLAAF & #PAF. Shaheen-IX is the 9th in the series of joint air exercises. #India #military

KARACHI: Pakistan-China Joint Air Exercise ‘Shaheen-IX’ is underway at a PAF’s operational base since December 8th, officials said.

The contingents of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) comprising various aerial platforms, combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crews are participating in the exercise.

The opening ceremony of the exercise was jointly witnessed by Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air Vice Marshal Waqas Ahmed Sulehri and Assistant Chief of Staff, PLAAF Major General Sun Hong, it said.

Maj-Gen Hong said, “The joint exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two air forces”. Welcoming the Chinese contingent, Air Vice Marshal Sulehri said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the air forces, fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries”.

The joint exercise started a week after Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to the country.

The ‘Shaheen-IX,’ would last until the end of December. The joint training, part of the 2020 China-Pakistan military cooperation plan, will play a positive role in promoting military relations, deepening practical cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, and improving the actual level of combat training of the two forces.

It will involve variety of air combat missions, rigorous training missions, near realistic combat scenarios, consolidating interoperability.Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of joint air exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis. The first training was held in March 2011, in Pakistan, and the last one was held in Northwest China in August, 2019, and had lasted for half a month. The training in 2019 involved some 50 aircrafts and complete combat units.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney on PAF Center for artificial intelligence with PLAAF

Earlier this month, on September 7th, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) presented a number of innovations that it had made as part of the Kamra Aviation City initiative. The Kamra City initiative is part of the PAF’s effort to set up a domestic aerospace development and manufacturing cluster reported “Quwa.”

Project Azm, a project that was started in 2017 seeks to secure a domestically produced next-generation fighter aircraft (NGFA). The project also seeks to be able to produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), and state of the art munitions. Videos of the progress of these projects were shown at the event.

Speculation, according to Quwa, leans towards the production of a twin-engine fighter. The PAF Chief, Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, had outlined that the PAF had been seeking a single-seat, twin-engine design equipped with super-cruising and laser-based weapons.

Thus the airforce seeks to develop an aircraft with ‘fifth-generational-capabilities’ such as low-observable (LO) and low radar cross-section (RCS) airframes.

PAF reveals artificial intelligence program

The PAF also revealed that its newly raised Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTRIC) is undertaking a ‘Cognitive Electronic Warfare’ (or Cognitive EW) program. In order to manage and analyze vast amounts of data. Artificial intelligence can calculate and disseminate quickly vast amount of data regarding any potential enemy.

Today’s EW systems can collect a considerable amount of data about an enemy’s frequency use, radar deployment, and many other factors. However, the analysis function of using that data to find actionable results is left on solely human operators, which may not be an efficient use of personnel, nor effective