Invest in PAF

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PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to the newly established ‘Air power Centre of Excellence’ at Mushaf Air Base in Sargodha and also participating in the flying mission has raised hopes that government would pay more attention to the needs and requirements of PAF. Mr Abbasi lauded the high morale of the aerial defenders while expressing satisfaction over PAF’s operational preparedness.
Air dominance is vital for the country to have deterrence stability in South Asia especially in the backdrop of frantic efforts and aggressive plans by Indian Air Force. Indian Air Force is considered to be one of the best funded air forces of the world, which are counted to be reference air forces, and it is implementing plans not only for acquisition of modern fighter aircraft from all available sources and other equipment to ensure its dominance, but is also pursuing a ten year indigenisation programme. It has in its inventory world’s most sophisticated aircraft and is planning to add more as per regional and global ambitions of the country. In terms of fast jets, India currently flies the Hawk, Mig-21, Mig-27, Mig-29, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Su-30MKI and Tejas; and will soon fly the Rafale. In addition, the current ambition is to procure another lightweight fighter, most likely the Saab Gripen E/F or Lockheed Martin F-16 ‘Block 70/72’, as well as a fifth generation derivative of Russia’s troubled PAK FA/T-50 stealth fighter. As against this, Pakistan is facing trouble even in acquisition of the already committed F-16s by the United States and is left to rely mostly on JF-17 Thunder. However, we believe that besides modernising and equipping the JF-17 with latest missiles and air war equipment, focus should also be on acquisition of more latest aircrafts that could offer additional range, payload and capability boosts. We would urge the PAF leadership to draw a comprehensive but pragmatic road-map for strengthening air force to a level where it can ensure air deterrence and government should provide necessary support and finances for its implementation.