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The PAF in the Afghan War
Badar Shoots Down an Su-22 - April 16, 1987

Pilots: Squadron Leader Badar-ul-Islam (Leader), Squadron Leader Khalid Perviaz Marwat (No. 2)
Controller: Squadron Leader Saif-ur-Rahman
Date: April 16, 1987
Aircraft Shot: Su-22
Area: Near Thal

This formation took-off at 0630 hours and headed towards the CAP area near Thal. After three or four orbits, the radar reported some activity well within 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 radarscope, 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 clearly see all the four shinning aircraft. He narrates the story of this kill in these words:

Although faster, we were also climbing and had to chase the targets for a little while before they came into missile range. During the chase, I asked my No. 2 to keep an eye on the other two aircraft that we had previously seen. The moment I got a flash on the missile reticle, I fired my first AIM-9L missile. It was a unique experience. I had never fired a missile before. As the missile left the rail, it caused a slight yaw, I kept looking at the missile in some awe, but then lost it and started to look towards the target. In a couple of seconds, there was a big red flash around the aircraft that I was targeting. It started to spiral towards the ground in a left-hand turn. I locked on to the next aircraft and fired the second missile. The controller informed us that we were getting close to the border and that we should break off and head back. As soon as my second missile left its rail, I broke left and asked my No. 2 to do the same. During the process I looked over the canopy railing and saw another big flash in the area where my second target was. I dived down and headed towards Bannu and started to look for my No. 2 and returned to base.

Squadron Leader Badar-ul-Islam claimed to have shot down two aircraft, in his post mission report. However, after examining all the evidence the PAF awarded him only one kill. Nevertheless, he did an outstanding job of remaining cool and skilful during the intercept.

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