Pakistan Navy has inducted its first upgraded ATR aircraft and Sea King helicopters in its fleet.
“Pakistan Navy has inducted its first marinised/upgraded ATR aircraft and Sea King helicopters (ex model UK) in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational capability,” read an official statement issued on Wednesday.
“An impressive induction ceremony was held at PNS MEHRAN,” the communique said. “Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi graced the ceremony as the chief guest.”
In order to ensure quality training of aircrew, the statement added, Pakistan Navy today also inducted a state of the art Simulator of Z9EC Anti- Submarine Warfare helicopter to train its aircrew.
“This simulator will enable aircrew to acquire training for anti- submarine and emergency handling in a cost effective manner without endangering life and equipment.”
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Abbasi said that in addition to the traditional roles, Pakistan Navy is also confronted with emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy in the region and carrying out maritime security operations.
He emphasised that we should also be cognisant of threats posed by the hybrid warfare and cyber crime. “Pakistan Navy is aware of these challenges and induction of these modern platforms will augment the force’s operational capabilities manifold to more effectively face these challenges, achieve national objectives, honour international obligations and safeguard our vital maritime interests”, he said.
Admiral Abbasi added that wars are fought not only on material aspect, but spiritual strength also matters a lot. Pakistan Navy, though inferior in number, has inflicted irreparable loss to the adversary in past and this happened because of the spiritual strength and professionalism of the men.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood visits the newly inducted Sea King helicopter during the ceremony to induct aviation units into Pakistan Navy. PHOTO: PAKISTAN NAVY
He hoped induction of the training simulator will provide the force great capability to train the aircrew with full degree of freedom to achieve unflinching and highest standard of professionalism.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Navy officers and civilian dignitaries.
The first marinised ATR aircraft; a modern and widely operated turboprop platform, has been retrofitted with state of the art weapons and sensors, which will substantially enhance Fleet Air Arm’s operational capability commensurate with contemporary maritime warfare requirements.
Whereas, induction of two Mk-3A/Mk-4 Sea king helicopters, acquired from UK into its existing fleet of Sea King helicopters, will further enhance PN fleet operational capability particularly to troops transfer.
One helicopter, the communique added, is purpose-built for search & rescue missions at sea, while the aircraft is optimised for the troops-carrying role.