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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 24 Squadron History: 1988-1998

No. 24 EW Squadron was formed in 1962 at PAF Base Peshawar. At that time, it had RB-57F aircraft on its inventory. The squadron was number plated in 1967 after the withdrawal of RB-57 by the USAF. The squadron was revived in 1987, following the induction of two Falcon DA-20 aircraft fitted with modern EW suite. The primary role of the squadron is to provide dedicated ESM and ECM (EW) support to the PAF during both peace and war. The squadron also conducts training of electronics and air defence officers, on the EW concepts, equipment and operational tactics. Most of the maintenance is done at the squadron level, which includes first and second line maintenance, and servicing the EW suite along with major and minor repairs. The data collected through the EW missions is analyzed by electronic warfare officers to evaluate enemy tactics and establish the enemy's electronic order of battle.

The squadron participated in various PAF exercises in both ECM and early warning roles. The first major exercise in which the squadron took part was Zarb-e-Momin in 1989, during which twenty-one missions were flown. During exercises High Mark-89, 93, and 95, the squadron flew seventeen, fourteen, and sixty-five missions repectively. Communications and radar jamming was carried out successfully and spoofing was very effective. Also, friendly forces were provided with valuable and timely warning of intruding aircraft. In 1997, during exercise Saffron Bandit, thirty-five missions were flown. In this exercise, the squadron provided ECM training to the pilots and contollers, and almost the entire air force was exposed to the operations under degraded environments. Moreover, lectures covering the capabilities of the DA-20 were also delivered to the participating squadrons.

The squadron participated in almost all air defence exercises conducted within the PAF during the last ten years, besides taking part in various joint exercises with the Army and the Navy. In the joint exercises, practice to operate in EW environment was given to the Army and the Navy, and the susceptibility of their equipment to jamming was analyzed. Some of the important exercises included Naval ECM Exercise in 1991, Exercise Sky Guard in 1994, Jiddat in 1995, Sea Lion in 1996, and Sea Hawk and jamming of Army Fire Control Radar in 1997. In 1998, jamming was carried out against Sky Guard Radar and LAADS of the Army Air Defence System.

The squadron also carried out ESM during Exercise Inspired Alter-94 and 95, and Sea Spark-95, to find out the capabilities of the radar and the tactics used by participating aircraft. The squadron flies extensively to ensure complete coverage on all the enemy exercises. The data collected during these exercises is analyzed to determine the enemy's operating tactics and deployment of assets. Besides, the assets of this squadron form an integral part of trans-frontier photo-recce missions that are carried out from time to time.

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