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Pak PM hails induction of JF-17 fighter aircraft

JF-17 Thunder aircraft. Photo: Pakistan MoD.

ISLAMABAD (PTI): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has hailed the induction of Pakistan Air Force's 50th JF-17 fighter aircraft, built with Chinese help, as a move towards "self-reliance" and said the country's defence strategy is being devised on modern lines.

Underlining that the objective situation has undergone a change due to new research and innovations, Sharif said, "Today, one can enter any territory sitting thousands mile away without physically moving one's armed forces. This has been possible only due to the capability of air force and the new technology".

"We know very well that no battle can be won with outdated technology and discarded strategies," Sharif said on Wednesday at the roll-out ceremony of the 50th JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra.

"Pakistan's defence strategy is therefore being devised under this scenario," he said.

Sharif expressed happiness with Pakistan military leadership's full cognisance of the changing environment and its following of an agreed and well integrated approach.

"The new technology and modern expertise have transformed our defence into a great force," he said.

"The JF-17 aircraft development and production is a major flag bearer in our journey towards self-reliance and industrialisation and adds a glorious chapter in the history of Pakistan's friendship with China," Sharif said.

The PAC JF-17 is a light weight, single engine, and multi-role combat aircraft which has been developed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) of China.

The aircraft is 15 metres long and is said to be able to tackle all kinds of weather.

Sharif congratulated Chief of the Air Staff and his team on the successful completion of in-country production of the first batch of 50 JF-17 aircraft.

He said the skill and passion of 'flying falcons' to conquer the skies assured that the country's aerial frontiers were safe and secure. .

The Prime Minister stressed that the proficiency of PAF was not limited to the air alone, but it was equally competent to show its mettle in the fields of aircraft manufacture, radar and even the drone technology.

Speaking about ties with China, Sharif said, "We have achieved a number of milestones in a short period during the journey of our enduring friendship with China. These include projects like Gawadar Port, Chashma Power Project, Karakoram Highway, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the recent Karachi Civil Nuclear Power Plant."

Recalling his visit to China, he said several agreements of strategic nature were reached between the "brotherly countries".

The most prominent amongst them is establishing an economic corridor, linking Gawadar to China through Khunjrab Pass, which would have far reaching impact on the future of Pakistan and the region, he said.

"I take this opportunity to thank our most valued and trustworthy friend for the support in JF-17 Project and in several other joint projects countrywide," he said.


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