Coming on the heels of the recent India-Pakistan standoff which was triggered after the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck terrorist infrastructure in Balakot, Pakistan, which belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has constituted a new squadron of F-16 fighters, to be deployed at Mushaf air base with a view to counter India, reports DefenceNews.
The new squadron, called Squadron 29, and also referred to as ‘Aggressor’, includes eight F-16 fighter aircraft in total. Its intended area of operation will be the regions along the border with India.
Mushaf air base is Pakistan’s oldest air force base and is also home to another F-16 squadron, Squadron 9. Located near the city of Sargodha in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the base is also the headquarters of the PAF’s central command.
Currently, the IAF consists of 34 squadrons and the PAF has 30 squadrons. India’s squadron strength will further be reduced when the old Mig-21s and Mig-27s are phased out.
Ideally, the IAF needs to bump up its squadron strength to a minimum of 42, in order to compete with the twin threats from Pakistan and China.
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