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A North American blade in Indian service...

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North American F-100D 'Firangi' - No.26 Squadron (The Warriors), Indian Air Force, 1966

 

India's relationship with the USA in the immediate post-independence period was cold at best but things improved following Eisenhower's historic visit to India in 1959 (the first by a US president) who gave Prime Minister Nehru a solid guarantee that the US would help India to meet further Chinese Communist aggression. To this end, the US Government offered a gift to India of 77 North American F-100D's straight off the Columbus assembly line. These were the very last new-build F-100's produced and this small order proved to be a useful boost to North American who had suffered the cancellation of the F-107 and F-108 programmes. 

 

Entering service with No.26 Squadron in 1961 the F-100D was known as the 'Firangi' (an Indian sword) in Indian Air Force service and the type served in the tactical attack role with four front-line IAF squadrons acquitting itself very well in both the 1965 and 1971 conflicts with Pakistan. 

 

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