PAC JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft, developed jointly with China, reaffirmed its position as the front line fighter of the Pakistan Air Force after displaying exceptional performance at PAF’s Inter-Squadron Armament Competition on Wednesday.
The most anticipated contest of the force’s operational year was held at Sonmiani firing range, said a statement issued by the PAF in Karachi.
The competition, which commenced on October 10, saw PAF fighter pilots from all weapon systems exhibiting highest level of professionalism through pinpoint weapon delivery. After a close competition, No 11 Multirole Squadron achieved highest score and was declared the winner of Inter-Squadron Armament Trophy.
The Best Armament Trophy (BAT), introduced for the first time in this year’s competition, was shared by No 2 and No 8 squadrons, while No 14 Squadron won the Maintenance Trophy.
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Wing Commander Noman Akram was awarded the coveted Sher Afgan Trophy for being the best marksman in the competition.
All PAF Fighter Squadrons were evaluated for operational readiness and weapon system performance under the competitive environment. “The main highlight of the competition was exceptional performance by the JF-17 Thunder aircraft and it reaffirmed its position as the front line fighter of the PAF.”
The closing ceremony of the contest was held at an operational air base. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was the chief guest of the ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the air chief said that PAF places highest premium on self-reliance through indigenisation alongside modernisation and expansion of existing combat capabilities. He added that PAF stands ever-ready for the aerial defence of motherland and has always responded to the nation’s call with full valour and commitment.
Commenting on the Kashmir situation, he said that, “We stand by our Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for self-determination”. ACM Mujahid reiterated that the human atrocities must end immediately, adding that, “we are fully alive to the situation and cannot lower our guards”.