February 22, 2024

Pathankot Air Force Base, despite being one of the oldest and most active airfields of the Indian Air Force has only one warbird preserved. A relatively rare Mystere IVa fighter bomber. 

Pathankot was part of Gurdaspur district in Punjab State and recently in 2011 it has become the headquarters of Pathankot district. Home to a large Army Cantonment as well as a major Air Force Base,  Pathankot is at the meeting point of the three northern states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Due to its ideal location, Pathankot serves as a travel hub for the three northerly states.

The Airfield is home to 18 Wing, Indian Air Force. The base was at the forefront of operations during the 1965 and 71 wars, and was one of the only airfields that was attacked very frequently by the Pakistanis due to its proximity to the border.  During this time, it was a major base of operations for Mysteres, Hunters, Gnats and MiG-21s.

Mystere IVa [IA1038] on display at Pathankot airfield. Unknown date.

Despite its longevity, the airfield has only one 'warbird' on display – a Mystere IVa with serial number IA1038. At the time of writing is one of the only eight Mysteres surviving in India out of a 104 examples procured in the 50s

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