He was recruited into the Vietnam People’s Air Force in 1965
Graduated from the Military Pilot School in the USSR in 1967 and became a fighter officer of the 921 Red Star Regiment, participating in the fight to protect the airspace of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In mid-1972, he was one of 12 pilots selected to train night fighters, preparing to shoot down B-52s (night fighters require much higher technical skills than flying fighters daytime).
In 1977, Pham Tuan was sent to study at Gagarin Air Force Academy (USSR), the following year he switched to space flight. Pham Tuan was selected to join the 6th international flight crew in the Intercosmos program of the USSR on April 1, 1979. His position initially belonged to pilot Nguyen Van Coc, but Mr. Coc was later disqualified because he did not pass the fitness test. Also selected with Pham Tuan is reserve pilot Bui Thanh Liem, who will replace Pham Tuan if there is an unexpected incident.
Pham Tuan, together with USSR cosmonaut Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko, were launched into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome on board Soyuz 37 on July 23, 1980, i.e. the 12th day of the sixth lunar month in the year of the Monkey, and returned to Earth on July 31 aboard Soyuz 36. They performed a mission on the Salyut 6 space station along with two other USSR cosmonauts.
Become a senior commanding leader
He graduated from the Gagarin Air Force Academy (USSR) in 1982.
1989 – 1996, he was Deputy Commander for Politics of the Air Force.
1996 – 2000, he was Vice Chairman of Political Affairs of the General Department of Defense Industry.
Since 2000, he has held the rank of Lieutenant General of the Vietnam People’s Air Force and held the position of Director General of the General Department of Defense Industry under the Ministry of National Defense.
In 2002, he was elected Chairman of Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (abbreviated name: MB); and hold important positions in companies under this bank.
In 2008, he retired by decision of the Government.