ISLAMABAD: Another major milestone was achieved when the first Squadron of JF-17 Thunder formally joined fighter aircraft fleet of Pakistan Air Force on Thursday.A ceremony for the formal induction of JF-17 Thunder aircraft was held at one of the PAF’s operational bases. Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was chief guest on the occasion.
The Chief of the Air Staff addressing the Airmen congratulated the nation and the PAF personnel on the momentous occasion.
“The formal induction of JF-17 aircraft in the PAF is in line with our resolve to face all challenges with poise and self-confidence. The PAF has invested in the force multipliers like the Air-to-Air refuellers, UAVs and AEW&C aircraft to enhance our capacity and capability to undertake complex operations,” he said.
“ These new state-of-the-art inductions make it imperative that we train hard and prepare well to induct and integrate the new systems professionally and safely. The achievements of PAF leave no doubt in my mind that we are immensely capable and, as a team, can set and achieve still higher standards”.
“We are a peaceful nation with no aggressive designs and want to maintain peace with honour in our region. We are inducting new systems to keep pace with technology and maintain credible conventional balance of force, without which peace cannot be ensured in South Asia,” he said.
He said that the JF-17 would be put through its paces in the forthcoming Exercise Hi-Mark 2010.
The ‘JF-17 Thunder’ has the capability to undertake entire spectrum of offensive as well as defensive missions. By joining the elite ranks of PAF, the JF-17 would not only enhance the combat readiness of PAF but also form its back-bone in future.
The ceremony culminated when an A-5-III fighter led three JF-17 Thunder aircraft in a flypast following which a single JF-17 performed aerobatics over the venue.