Pakistan to station JF-17 combat jets at PeshawarApril 17th, 2009 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, April 17 (IANS) The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will station its first squadron of the JF-17 Thunder combat jet that has been jointly developed with China at Peshawar, the capital of the restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP), it was announced Friday.
“The first fighter squadron of JF-17 Thunder aircraft will be raised and stationed at Peshawar,” PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman said on a visit to the base.
“By the end of 2009, the squadron will be fully operational,” a PAF release quoted him as saying while addressing officers and airmen at the base.
Listing his priorities, Suleman, who has just assumed office, said: “The cardinal points of my vision are integrity, professional excellence and teamwork. The top most priority will remain the operational preparedness of the PAF.”
Noting that the PAF was passing through a transitional phase, he said: “You will be handling and operating old and new weapon systems of various capabilities. You are required to maintain these assets for their optimum performance.”
With the induction of new systems on track, the air chief said these systems will “require knowledge based training. Thus my focus will be on modern training techniques and on flight safety”.
“You are cutting edge of the PAF and the nation pins high hopes on you to defend, deliver and sacrifice and keep up the glorious traditions of the PAF air warriors,” the air chief maintained.
The JF-17 Thunder, also known in China as the Chengdu FC-1 Fierce Dragon, is a lightweight multi-role combat aircraft jointly developed by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.
The JF and FC designations respectively denote “Joint Fighter” and “Fighter China”.
The PAF received its first JF-17s March 12, 2007.
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