Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Amman attended the handover ceremony.
The Pakistan Air Force added sixteen new JF-17 Thunder air craft to the fleet of 14 Squadron of the Pakistan Air Force. The number of fighter jets has been manufactured jointly by China and Pakistan, according to Radio News officials.
A ceremony held at Kamra Airbase saw 16 new JF-17 Thunder fighter jets inducted to the No.14 Squadron of the Pakistan Air Force, which is the oldest squadron of the Pakistan Air Force.
An impressive fly-past was also organized on the occasion. Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Asif attended the ceremony as a chief guest, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Amman were also present during the handover ceremony.
The new fighter jets have been manufactured jointly by China and Pakistan. The JF-17 Thunder is the backbone of PAF and already more than 70 fighters of the category are part of it.
Defense Minister while speaking at the ceremony said that, “the government was committed to fund the PAF’s operational readiness, including its JF-17 programme in the future as well”.
The defense minister further said that “Pakistan is a peace-loving country and wishes to maintain peaceful relations with international community. The government stands determined to safeguard Pakistan’s national interests and borders against any aggression”.
The minister lauded the role the PAF has played in the anti-terror operation Zarb-e-Azb. This has not only brought peace and normalcy to the country but also put Pakistan’s economy on a fast-track, he added to his speech.
Federal Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif thanked China for its support in the co-production of JF-17 Thunder aircraft.
In his address, Chief of air staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said JF-17 fighter jets have the capability comparable to any advanced fourth generation aircraft across the world.
For the Pakistan Air Force, the JF-17 fills the gap that had arisen due to an ageing inventory, which was further impacted by sanctions placed on the country following the nuclear tests in 1998.