Imran H. Khan

The recent US mission to get Osama without the knowledge of Pakistan Air Force was a success because of PAF’s lack of investment in sensors that can detect low flying aircraft in undulating and hilly terrain. This is not the first time that PAF has been caught in this embarrassing situation. Indian Air Force was able to penetrate deep into Pakistani territory in 1971, knowing that PAF did not have low level radar coverage in many areas.  At that time PAF depended on mobile observer units (MOUs) for human visual and aural detection of planes.  This man power intensive brute force effort only worked in limited areas and only during war. Despite investing in limited low altitude radars and airborne radars it is obvious that there are gaping holes in the air defense system as exemplified by the unscathed operation of multiple large rotor helicopters for hours in Pakistani airspace deep into its territory.

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