ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman on Saturday said that first Pakistan made JF-17 – Thunder – aircraft would fly in the country’s airspace by end of this year.He made this announcement while addressing the Graduation Ceremony of No 38 Combat Commanders’ Course which was held at Pakistan Air Force Base, Mushaf (Sargodha).
In his address to the graduating Combat Commanders, he said, The JF-17 Thunder program is on track. “We will start production of this aircraft from 30th of this month and Inshallah 1st Made in Pakistan JF-17 aircraft will fly in Pakistan’s airspace by end of this year.”
“PAF has extensively flown against the militants in Swat as well as in FATA. Application of airpower has brought about tangible results. This is a new type of warfare in which PAF has been participating for the first time during the last one year or so in support of Pakistan Army. We will continue our contribution towards our national security effort as long as it is required.”
Referring to the challenges confronted the nation, he said ‘the challenges, both internal and external, that confront us today and our responses to these have to be viewed in the broader perspective of the changes that are shaping the geopolitical landscape of the world. Apart from the traditional hostile adversary, new frontiers of conflict have lately emerged for us in the West and from within. These developments pose a great deal of threat to our national security.”
The Chief Guest awarded certificates and trophies to the graduating officers who underwent a strenuous and professionally demanding course.
The Chief of the Air Staff Trophy for the best Combat Commander was awarded to Squadron Leader Haider Shahbaz Ali while Air Officer Commanding Air Defence Command Trophy for best Combat Controller was awarded to Squadron Leader Saquib Rehman.
Earlier on his arrival, the Chief Guest was received by Air Commodore M Ashfaque Arain, Base Commander PAF Base, Mushaf. The ceremony was attended by Principal Staff Officers and field commanders of Pakistan Air Force.