PAF successfully employs air-to-air refuelling skill

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Sunday employed an air-to-air refuelling skill successfully, thus, attaining another milestone to prove itself. The attainment of the capability was part of the ongoing ‘High-Mark 2010’ exercises, which kicked off a week ago, an official said.

A senior officer of the PAF said that the first air-to-air refueller aircraft of Pakistan Air Force, which had joined PAF in the mid of December 2009, took an active part in the exercises and refuelled two fighter aircraft in the PAF’s inventory.

The PAF is expecting delivery of three similar refuelling aircraft by June this year. By virtue of its ability to refuel the air defence aircraft in air, PAF’s overall capability in terms of its effectiveness to defend the airspace of the motherland has significantly enhanced, he said. The area of exercise High-Mark 2010 is spread over the entire country from Skardu in the north up to the Arabian Sea in the south. The exercise has been tailored to include joint operations with extensive participation from Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy that would further enhance might to conduct joint operations amongst the three most essential services.

The High-Mark 2010 is aimed at conducting operations in near-realistic tactical environment while integrating new inductions and providing role-oriented training to combat and support elements of PAF and other services. “It is designed to achieve stipulated objectives with special emphasis on exposing PAF combat crew to simulated air battles based on contemporary concepts,” he said.

He said all the Main Operating Bases (Peace Time) and Forward Operating Bases (War Time) were operative during the ongoing exercise. New inductions like the JF-17 Thunder aircraft and force multipliers such as Saab-2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft and air-to-air refueller aircraft are participating in the exercise for the first time.

The exercise is PAF’s biggest operational event that is being conducted after a pause of five years. The ever-changing geo-political environment in the region demands change in employment concepts and doctrinal changes in the application of air power with emphasis on joint operations, the PAF official said. The Exercise High-Mark 2010 will provide PAF an opportunity to validate these concepts that are vital in the overall defence of the country.

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