Islamabad, Feb.19 (ANI): China's JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, which has been indigenously produced by Pakistan, was formally inducted into the Pakistan Air Force at a ceremony held at one of the PAF's operational bases on Thursday.
Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was the chief guest on the occasion, the Daily Times reports.
The JF-17 Thunder has the capability to undertake the entire spectrum of offensive as well as defensive missions. It is believed that the JF-17 would not only enhance the combat readiness of PAF but also form its backbone in the future.
Congratulating the airmen, Air Chief Marshal Suleman said, "I congratulate the nation and all PAF personnel on this momentous occasion. The formal induction of this aircraft is in line with our resolve to face all challenges with poise and self-confidence. These new state-of-the-art inductions make it imperative that we train hard and prepare well in order to induct and integrate the new systems professionally and safely."
He further said, "We are a peaceful nation with no aggressive designs. We are inducting new systems to keep up with the technology and to maintain a credible, conventional balance of force, without which peace cannot be ensured in South Asia."
While addressing the airmen, he said that the JF-17 would be tested in the forthcoming Exercise Hi-Mark 2010.
At the end of the ceremony, an A-5-III fighter led three JF-17 Thunder aircrafts in the air, which was followed by a single JF-17 aircraft that performed aerobatics. (ANI)