PAF Base Nur Khan

PAF Base Nur Khan (founded as RAF Station Chaklala and previously known as PAF Base Chaklala) is an active Pakistan Air Force airbase located in Chaklala, Rawalpindi, Punjab province, Pakistan.[4] The former Benazir Bhutto International Airport forms part of this airbase. Fazaia Intermediate College, Nur Khan is also located in the base.

PAF Base Nur Khan
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerGovernment of Pakistan
OperatorPakistan Air Force
ServesChaklala, Rawalpindi
LocationRawalpindi, Punjab
CommanderAir Commodore Haseeb Gul SI(M)
OccupantsPakistan Air Force


USAF C-17 at Chaklala AirBase Rawalpindi

The base was originally operated by the Royal Air Force as R.A.F. Chaklala and, during World War 2, parachute training operations were conducted there.[5]

Once transferred to the then Royal Pakistan Air Force the base came into use as a transport hub, with the PAF's fleet of various transport aircraft operating from it.[6]

During the Pakistan earthquake of 2005, 300 troops of the United States as well as U.S. aircraft were deployed to Chaklala to aid in relief efforts. According to an anonymous source, the U.S. has a permanent military presence at Chaklala since late 2001 for handling logistics efforts and other movements in relation to the war in Afghanistan.[7]

In 2009 the PAF's first of four Il-78 aerial refuelling tanker aircraft was delivered to PAF Base Chaklala and the No. 10 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) squadron was established there.[1]

The name of the base was changed in 2012 from PAF Base Chaklala to PAF Base Nur Khan in remembrance of its first Base Commander, Air Marshal Nur Khan. Nur Khan was also the second Pakistani chief of the Pakistan Air Force and a veteran of several conflicts fought by Pakistan.[citation needed]


1) No. 6 Squadron (Antelopes)Edit

The squadron was formed without any aircraft or equipment on 14 August 1947 at Maripur, Karachi, under its first commanding officer, Flight Lieutenant M. J. Khan. On 16 August 1947, Air Officer Commanding Air Vice Marshal visited the squadron and commissioned it for heavy airlifting and airborne operations. The PAF acquired a Douglas DC-3 Dakota aircraft on 22 October 1947 and later obtained Bristol Freighter, Tiger Moth, and Auster AOP.9 aircraft. On 29 June 1948, a detachment of the squadron provided a guard of honour at Mauripur for Governor-General Muhammad Ali Jinnah on his arrival from Quetta. On 9 September 1948, three Dakota aircraft performed a flypast at the Quaid-e-Azam's funeral ceremony

In the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War the Antelopes dropped parachute commandos into Indian territory in a night-time mission involving three C-130B transports. Just before the 1965 war started, the squadron's commanding officer, Wing Commander Eric Gordan Hall, had the idea of making up for the PAF's deficiency in heavy bombers by modifying the Hercules to carry bombs.[2] It was converted to carry 10,000 kg of bombs, which were rolled out on pallets from the rear ramp, and over 21 night-time bombing raids were flown against Indian forces approaching for the Battles of Chawinda and Pul Kanjari. Support missions for troops in the Northern Areas were continued after the war.[citation needed]

With the unstable political situation at the end of 1970 and the resulting civil unrest, the Antelopes moved a large number of troops to East Pakistan and assisted in flood relief operations there. India stopped the PAF flying over its territory in 1971, and the squadron had to fly to East Pakistan via Sri Lanka. Two of the unit's C-130 transports were deployed to Dhaka from March 71 until the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War began on 3 December 1971. They were used to evacuate soldiers and civilians from hostile areas of East Pakistan – in one sortie a single C-130 evacuated 365 people from Sylhet to Dhaka. During the 1971 war, No. 6 Squadron flew bombing missions from West Pakistan in the same manner as those flown during the 1961 war, and no transport aircraft were lost during these sorties

2) No. 12 Squadron (Globe Trotters)Edit

Made No. 12 Composite Squadron in September 1953, the Squadron Consists of PAF's Elite Air Crafts amongst which includes Phenom 100 and Gulf Stream IV.

3) No. 10 MRTT Squadron (Bulls)Edit

Established as the No. 10 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Squadron with delivery of the PAF's first Il-78 in December 2009 and operating from PAF Base Chaklala.

4) No. 41 SquadronEdit

The squadron consists of Cessna, Beech, Y-12 amongst other planes which also play role in operational aspects.


PAF Base Nur Khan has had many achievements since 1947. Amongst these some worth mentioning are the outstanding performances at the Royal International Air Tattoo . In 2006 the C130 Hercules of No 6 Squadron under the command of then Wing Commander and now Air Commodore Haseeb Gul won the Concours d’Elegance competition, also lifting the Page Aerospace Trophy as well as the BAE Systems’ Trophy for winning the Spirit of the Meet competition.[citation needed] A decade later the No 6 Squadron C130 Hercules under the command of Wing Commander Teymoor Hussain participated in Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 where it won the Concours d’Elegance competition.[citation needed]


The base has surrounding facilities including the Frontier Works Organization Headquarters, Chaklala Railway Station and the Joint Services Headquarters (JSHQ). Two housing schemes Askaris VIII and IX are also located alongside Nur Khan road that extends to the main entrance of the base from Airport Road. The Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies, a research think tank founded by the Pakistan Air Force, is located next to Nur Khan Base.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Warnes, Alan (July 2010). "On The Edge". Air Forces Monthly. United Kingdom: Key Publishing Limited (July 2010): Page 56. Retrieved 9 July 2010. Last year saw the delivery of the first Il-78 Midas air-to-air refueller and also the first Russian aircraft into the inventory - hence the R in front of the serial. The newly established 10 Multi Role Tanker Transport Sqn at Chaklala operates the aircraft, which will be joined by a second example.
  2. ^ Syed Omar Ali. "Unofficial Website Of Pakistan Air Force - Air Base Chaklala". Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ "PAF Falcons - PAF s' Squadrons". Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  4. ^ "PAKISTAN AIR FORCE - Official website". Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Parachute training at R.A.F. Chaklala". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. ^ "PAF Chaklaka". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  7. ^ "CIA drones quit one Pakistan site – but US keeps access to other airbases". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 24 March 2013.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°36′59″N 73°05′57″E / 33.6164°N 73.0992°E / 33.6164; 73.0992