Pakistan’s Control and Reporting (C&R) System during 1965

Pakistan had an efficient C&R and radar setup during the India Pakistan War of 1965. The main surveillance radars were backed up efficiently by a well integrated communication network and a robust Mobile Observation Units(MOU) grid. There were gaps in the radar cover but not so critical s compared to India. The efficiency of the C&R system can also be judged by the fact that the first information about Indian offensive was given by a MOU.

PAF had installed the first AD radar in mid-1950’s1. The main surveillance radar in the North was at Sakesar2. Located on the outer fringes of (Pakistani) Punjab’s Soan valley, Sakesar is a 4,992 ft peak which used to be the summer headquarters of three districts – CampbelIpur (now Attock), Mianwali and Sargodha. In view of Sakesar’s ideal location and height, it was selected by PAF in the late-50s as the site for a high powered radar which would provide air defence cover for the northeastern part of the western wing. In 1960, a radar installation was commissioned at Sakesar for its role as a master GC1 station. The base comprised a sector operations centre SOC and a ground controlled interception element .  The radar at Sakeasr was the Bendix AN/FPS-20, a L-Band surveillance radar it had an effective range of 300 kilometers3.

AN-FPS- 20 Radar

A cold war era radar, FPS-20 used to the backbone of US early warning network and underwent a number of upgrades since in entering service in 1950. It had the GCI capability making it suitable for use by PAF. The radar being a 2D radar however did not have the height finding capability and was used with AN/FPS-6, a height finder manufactured by General Electric.

AN-FPS-6 Radar

During the war, Sakesar played a vital role in the battle for air superiority which was fought mainly from Sakesar’s SOC, under the personal supervision of Air Commodore Masroor Hosain, the AOC Air Defence. The base was at that time was commanded by Wing Commander M Zakria Butt.

The radar complex at Badin was commissioned in 19624. Located close to the Indian border, the radar was capable of keeping a watch on Indian airfields in Rajasthan and track all aircraft movement towards lower Sind region between Sukkur and Karachi. Badin functioned as the Sector Operations Centre(South).

Notes

  1. History of PAF http://www.paf.gov.pk/history.html
  2. PAF Sakesar http://pakdef.org/sakesar/
  3. IAF later used the upgraded version of the same radars with a new digital moving target indicator(MTI) system from Bendix to create the AN/FPS-100 and 100A. These systems were known as the “Blue Pearl”, or Bendix Radar Processor BRP-150. These were remanufactured units with a new antenna, and included a new low-noise front-end amplifier. The Star Sapphire Radars gifted to India by US were also manufactured by Bendix Corporation. Radar AN/FPS 20 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bendix_AN/FPS-20

 

  1. PAF Badin http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/pakistan/paf-badin.htm

 

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