In 2014 Pakistan launched “Operation Zarb-E-Azb” against various terrorist organizations including TTP, Al-Qaeda & Haqqani Network. Zarb-E-Azb was a joint military action conducted by Pakistan Military.
On 22nd July 2014 at about 8pm two PAF pilots Group Captain Azman Khaleel & Squadron Leader Asim took off in an F-16B Block-15 (Serial No. 82602) from PAF Base Mushaf to conduct an airstrike on terrorist hideout. Upon reaching the target pilot dropped a JDAM bomb on terrorist hideout but due to some technical problem the bomb immediately exploded & caused extensive damage to the jet.
F-16 went out of control & started spin maneuver. Group Captain Azman Khaleel immediately took the control of the jet & took corrective measures & was able to stabilize the jet.
Since aircraft was badly damaged (hydraulic & fuel leakage) it cannot return to PAF Base Mushaf. So, both pilots decided to take the jet to nearest airfield PAF Base M.M. Alam. Upon reaching PAF Base M.M. Alam Group Captain Azman Khaleel tried to land F-16 but during landing he realized that F-16’s Jet Throttle System (JTS) has failed & the aircraft is not slowing down.
To solve this problem, he took off again & requested Air Traffic Controller (ATC) to arrange “Aircraft Arresting Barriers”. After that he made a second attempt & was able to successfully land the damaged F-16 with the help of aircraft arresting barriers.
Group Captain Azman Khaleel was awarded with Tamgha-I-Basalat for showing valor & extreme professionalism.
Later engineers at PAC Kamra refitted & repaired the damaged F-16 & now a days F-16B Block-15 EMLU-III (Serial No. 82602) is in service with PAF.