The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Wednesday conducted a live-fire demonstration at the military’s Sonmiani firing range in Balochistan. During the demonstration, the air force showcased its strength and capability.
The chief guest on the occasion, President Arif Alvi, said the country’s armed forces were capable and ready to face all internal and external challenges.
On his arrival at the venue, he was received by Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan.
“Pakistan wishes to maintain peaceful relations with other nations, especially our neighbours. Yet, we are not oblivious to safeguarding our national interests and sovereignty,” the president said.
He added: “The entire world witnessed our response to India’s violation of Pakistan’s air space in February, 2019, when PAF once again proved its mettle in the air battle over Kashmir and re-established deterrence”.
Highlighting the Kashmir situation, the president said Pakistan would always stand by the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for self-determination.
On the occasion, the air chief said: “The changing dynamics in the region call for greater focus on operational preparedness. The firepower demo is sequel to our consistent efforts for war readiness.”
Khan added the entire nation takes pride in the PAF and reposes trust in its potential for national defence. He further said the air force is fully-prepared and capable to overcome any challenge and keep the enemy at bay.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and other high ranking civil and defence officials witnessed the demonstration.
Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) Air Marshal Haseeb Paracha, in his inaugural address, briefed the audience about the recently concluded PAF Inter Squadron Armament Competition and significance of firepower demonstration.
The firepower demonstration started with a low-level sonic boom by two mirages flying over the range at supersonic speed. It was followed by formation flypast of frontline PAF fighter aircraft, including F-16 Block 52, F-16, JF-17 Thunder, Mirage, F-7PG and F-7P aircraft. Later, PAF’s ‘Eyes in the Skies’ SAAB-Erieye and Karakoram Eagle aircraft flew past the venue, dispensing flares.
The PAF pilots displayed their professional acumen by destroying the given targets with accuracy. All fighter platforms held on the inventory of the PAF, were seen steaming in and hitting the designated targets.
After firepower display by the PAF fighter aircraft, the indigenously produced JF-17 Thunder displayed some aerobatic maneuvers. After its exit from the scene, the PAF aerobatics team “Sherdils” appeared on the horizon and showcased their aerial display.
Another activity of the event was a fiery performance by the Special Services Wing commandos, where they neutralised the terrorists in a mock exercise.