Islamabad, Jul 17: The US will hand over four more F-16s to the Pakistan Air Force on July 28. These jets have reportedly been upgraded and modified to the extent that they will perform just like new F-16s.
A ceremony for handing over of the planes to the Pakistan Air Force will be held at the PAF Base Mushaf, reported The News. Last month, the Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations), Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleiman, had received four 'Fighting Falcons' from Lt Gen Gary L North, Commander 9th Air Force, and the USAF Central Command while four were received last year. These refurbished F-16s have the same operational capability as of those already possessed by the PAF and will significantly augment its combat capability, added the paper. Meanwhile, state-of-the-art JF-17 'Thunder' fighter aircraft will be inducted as regular squadron of the PAF by the year end.
The small batch production of the JF-17 'Thunder' multi-role aircraft is in progress both in China and the Kamra Aeronautical Complex. The PAF is in the process of completing the testing and evaluation of aircraft jointly produced by Pakistan and China. After completion of the evaluation, the new aircraft will be certified by international monitors to become operational in the air forces of the world.
Serial production of the JF-17 Thunder will also start in Pakistan soon. In the first phase 40 percent, in the second 60 percent, in the third phase 80 percent, and in the last phase 100 percent JF-17 'Thunder' warplanes will be built at the Kamra Aeronautical Complex.