Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan hails completion of first batch in five months
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Friday unveiled its first batch of 08 dual seat JF-17 aircraft, manufactured by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra.
“To mark this momentous occasion, a grand ceremony was held at Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Kamra where Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest,” said a spokesperson for the PAF. In addition to the Air Chief, the event was also attended by Chinese envoy Yao Jing, while Aviation Industries of China Executive Vice President Hao Zhaoping participated as the guest of honor.
The Air Chief congratulated the PAC and the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) on successfully fulfilling their 2019 production target, and completing the first 08 dual-seat JF-17 aircraft in a record time of five months. He also said that serial production of the dual-seat variant was a landmark development for the JF-17 program, adding that it was a “true manifestation of everlasting friendship between both countries.”
Referring to the February Indian Air Force airstrike in Balakot that brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war, the Air Chief hailed the JF-17’s role in the retaliatory Operation Swift Retort. “JF-17 Thunder is the backbone of PAF, which has been battle proven during Operation Swift Retort,” he said. On Feb. 27, PAF conducted six surprise airstrikes at multiple locations in India-held Kashmir. There were no casualties, with authorities saying the strikes were merely intended to prove to India that Pakistan was capable of responding in kind to its aggressive actions.
Hailing the “time-tested” friendship between China and Pakistan, Beijing’s ambassador marked the occasion by saying the JF-17 was a testament to Sino-Pak friendship and mutual cooperation.
The press release issued by the PAF also noted that the PAC and CATIC had inked an agreement to co-produce Chinese commercial aircraft.
Also on Friday, the Air Chief inaugurated the JF-17 Dual-Seat Integration facility at the Avionics Production Factory in Kamra. “The facility will enable PAF to integrate avionics and weapon systems of choice with JF-17 aircraft, ultimately providing much needed self-reliance and operational flexibility,” said the PAF statement.