Pakistan to get first P3 C aircraft on January 18
ISLAMABAD (January 14 2007): Pakistan will receive the first of the eight P3 C Orion aircraft acquired from the US on January 18, Naval Chief Admiral Afzal Tahir said Saturday, adding the new weapon system would help secure Pakistan's sea lines.
In an obvious reference to India's growing naval presence he said Pakistan can not afford to remain "oblivious of our traditional adversary when it comes to our security and sovereignty". "While formulating our defence strategy, the current and future development plans of our arch rival must be kept in view", he said.
The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir was addressing the Annual Efficiency Competition Parade and Awards Ceremony 2006 of Pakistan Navy Fleet, held at PN Dockyard in Karachi. A media release covering the function was distributed here Saturday by the Naval Headquarters.
Admiral Tahir further said that Pakistan has no aggressive designs yet it is vital to enhance our defence capability to protect our sovereignty and integrity. Pakistan Navy is, therefore, in a process to acquire modern weaponry and platforms.
He apprised that first of the eight P3 C Orion aircraft acquired from USA will land at naval air base Karachi on 18th of this month. Induction of this all weather aircraft will enhance Navy's reconnaissance, anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel operation capabilities, he added.
The naval chief said that with the development of Gwadar Port and expansion of maritime infrastructure at Karachi, Pakistan is on the threshold of becoming a major conduit for trade and commerce in the region. "This entails to have an efficient and strong navy to safeguard sea lines of communication and trade routes to ensure safe and secure economic activity".
The naval chief urged the officers and men to explore all avenues to support and nurture the Fleet and sustain its fighting efficiency. He reminded them that the modern Hi-Tec military hardware is not a panacea itself.
It is the trained manpower and professional competence of the fighting men and their resolve to protect the national interests at all costs, which ultimately makes the difference, he added. Admiral Tahir expressed his complete satisfaction over the performance of PN fleet and lauded the efforts of all concerned for successfully accomplishing all the operational objectives set for the previous year.
Earlier in his welcome address Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Asaf Humayun recounted the operational achievements of the PN fleet. He said that participation of Pakistan Navy in major maritime exercises and continued contribution towards international war against terrorism not only proved its battle worthiness but also turned out to be highly beneficial for enhancement of its professional capabilities.
Later, the chief guest Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir gave away prizes to the winning units. In Destroyer Squadron PNS BABUR clinched the first position. In submarine Squadron PNA/M SAAD was proclaimed winner and in Aviation 111 SEAKING Squadron was adjudged the best and received the winning trophy. The large number of senior serving and retired officers and sailors of Pakistan Navy attended the ceremony.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2007
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