JF-17 Thunder joins PAF’s fighter fleet

ISLAMABAD: The first squadron of JF-17 Thunder aircraft formally joined the fighter fleet of Pakistan Air Force on Thursday.
“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,” Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman said while speaking at the induction ceremony held at a PAF operational base.

He said the PAF had invested in force multipliers like air-to-air refuellers, unmanned aerial vehicles and airborne early warning and control aircraft to enhance its capability to undertake complex operations.

“The 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”.

He said Pakistan was a peaceful nation with no aggressive designs and wanted to live in peace with honour.

He said the new systems were being inducted to keep pace with technology and maintain credible conventional balance of force, without which peace could not be ensured in South Asia.

Defence analysts term the induction of JF-17 in the PAF fleet a milestone. They stress that strengthening the military has become all the more imperative in the wake of Indian hegemonic designs.

They said that although India and Pakistan were about to resume dialogue, history bore testimony that the neighbour had always used talks as a ploy to buy time.

They referred to the reckless statement by Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and the recent incidents of violation of the Line of Control and the Ceasefire Line.

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