HAL to celebrate Golden Jubillee of 'Sabre Slayer' Gnat

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Bangalore, Oct 15 (UNI) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of the flying of Gnat jet fighters in India which played a major part in the 1965 and 1971 wars.

HAL will organise a commemoration to mark the occasion in the form of 'Vignettes of the Development and Operation of the Gnat', to be hosted by Senior Officers of aviation major here on November 21.

The 'Sabre Slayers', as the Gnats came to be famously known, were more than a match for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) intruders during 1965 and 1971 wars. The PAF pilots tried to evade combat when confronted by this tiny warrior.

The Gnat became a household word during both the conflicts. A fitting reminder of those days was the postage stamp issued by a grateful nation and the fact that the only Param Vir Chakra (PVC) awarded to the IAF was to a Gnat pilot, a HAL release said here today.

Indian Air Force was the only Air Force in the world to employ the Gnat in combat.

On September two, 1965, Pakistani F-86 Sabre Jet pilots, heady with the success of having shot down an IAF Vampire aircraft the previous day and convinced of their 'superiority' from Sabre exploits during the Korean war, were rudely shaken when they came face to face with Gnats. They were outdone in all aspects of aerial combat.


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