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MFI-17 Mushshak/Super Mushshak Pictures album
MFI-17 Mushshak Subalbum
After the PAF and the Pakistn Army had selected the Saab MFI-17, to replace their Harvards and L-19s, respectively, in the early 1970s, an assembly line was set up at AMF, that would eventually lead to the aircraft's manufacture. The AMF had acquired manufacturing rights from the SAAB Scania of Sweden. The AMF had successfully managed to maintain very high standards. The 200hp (149kW) MFI-17 made an ideal primary trainer for the PAF and filled the Army's forward air control needs. Pakistan Air Force received five MFI-17Bs in 1974. In June 1974, a contract was signed with the Saab for the supply of initial kits for assembly in Pakistan as well as the delivery of a few complete aircraft. In Phase 1, the factory started production from Semi Knocked Down (SKD) and Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits in June 1975 and by 1982 had produced 92 Mushshaks. Later, under Phase 2, the programme saw the complete manufacture of the Mushshak from raw material, with the first indigenous Mushshak being rolled out in December 1983. A decision made by the first AMF Director, Air Commodore MA Mirza, saw an initial production line being set up at the PAF Academy at Risalpur, while construction of the MFI-17 manufacturing production line was set up at PAC Kamra, where the MRF had also been built. When Saab stopped supporting the MFI-17 in 1982, AMF continued to build the aircraft and its spare parts. Over the years, AMF has also carved out a niche for exports, with the air forces of Oman (3), Iran (25) and Syria (6) all acquiring Mushshaks.
MFI-17 Super Mushshak Subalbum
In addition to manufacturing 188 Mushshaks, AMF has built over 50 new Super Mushshaks. In 1995, AMF set about upgrading the Mushshak to what is known as the Super Mushshak, with an improved six-cylinder Textron Lycoming 260 hp engine, which made its first flight on August 15, 1996, only eight months after the start of the project. The new powerplant provides a cruising speed of 130 knots (240km/h), some 25 knots (62km/h) more than the original Mushshak. Another major improvement was the cockpit's air conditioning, which was long overdue when you consider that the Mushshaks are flown in so many hot countries where temperature regularly reach 50 degree centigrade! The PAF ordered around 50 Super Mushshaks for its Air Force Academy, where they are used for Primary Flying Training, with the first aircraft being handed over at Risalpur on May 16, 2001. However, the Base Communication Flights continue using the original Mushshak, the PAF preferring to spend money on the students' flying training. Different countries have shown an interest in buying the Super Mushshaq for their Air Forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF), the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF), the Lebanese Air Force (LAF), and the Royal Thai Army (RTA) have shown varying degrees of interest in the aircraft. There is now a Retrofit 3 version of the Super Mushshak being developed by AMF that will see glass cockpit installed, thus allowing an easier transition for the pilot when he steps into a 21st Century modern basic trainer, with all its latest avionics on board.
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