The Tail Choppers Get New Knives


The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) stood up its fifth Chengdu Aircraft Corporation/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighter squadron on 16th February.

The PAF’s 14 Air Superiority Squadron, known as the ‘Tail Choppers’, based at the PAF’s Minhas airbase in the east of the country. The unit is the first to be flying JF-17s equipped with the aircraft’s new air-to-air refuelling system.

The squadron won battle honours during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, when its North American F-86 Sabre fighter-bombers attacked the Indian Air Force’s Kalaikunda airbase in western India, strafing several IAF English Electric Canberra family light bombers and Hawker Hunter family fighters, resulting in their tails being chopped off. Hence the ‘Tail Choppers’ appellation. Over 80 JF-17 Thunders have been delivered to the PAF to date, from an initial requirement for 150.