Khawaja Asif hands over JF-17 Thunder aircraft to PAF’s Squadron-II
Karachi—Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday said that Pakistan Air Force has played pivotal role in war against terrorism and has broken backbone of terrorists. He was addressing a ceremony of JF-17 Thunder aircraft induction to PAF-II Squadron at PAF base Masroor in Karachi while a fly past of JF-17 Thunder aircraft was also held on the occasion.
He said PAF has proved to be leading air force in the world and Government is committed to equipping it with latest gadgets. The Minister said Pakistan is a peace loving country and desires to have good relations with world particularly neighbouring countries. He said PAF has played effective role in Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists.
APP adds: Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, was also present. The Air Chief said, since its inception No 2 Squadron has commendable achievements to its credit. He paid tribute to Shuhada, veterans and predecessors of No 2 Squadron who displayed exceptional professionalism and valor. JF-17 Thunder is a pride of PAF and the nation of Pakistan. It is a proof of our abilities and a testimony of our dedication and evidence of smooth progress on the road of indigenization.
He reiterated that induction of JF-17 remains our top most priority. Induction of JF-17 in No.2 Squadron would help create a strategic balance. No 2 Squadron has an added responsibility of ensuring the protection of sea lines of communication and also defend the coastal areas with all out support to Pakistan Navy in their offensive operations. While speaking at the occasion, the chief guest said that it is a historic moment that PAF is progressing in the right direction, at a right pace in line with the vision of our great Quaid.
PAF enjoys the status of being one of the most respected air forces across the globe. PAF has played a pivotal role to effectively counter the threat of terrorism, especially in ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb.
He said that we believe that PAF will always be steadfast in safeguarding national security against any threat. Maintaining highest standards of operational readiness is certainly harder than achieving it. He further said that sophisticated platforms and equipment to PAF inventory is essential to maintain its status as 21st century modern air force.
Induction of JF-17 aircraft in PAF started in 2007 and has continued during subsequent years. Today, Pakistan Air Force is operating four JF-17 Squadrons which are actively engaged in all types of operations. Induction of JF-17 aircraft in No 2 Multirole Squadron is a major milestone towards self reliance and enhancement of operational capability. 2 squadron was raised at Mauripur in June 1956 and started operations as a fighter conversion unit. In the early days of its inception it played an important role in 1965 and 71 wars when it carried out close air support missions.
The squadron has the unique honor of being the heirs of Pilot Officer Minhas (Shaheed) who laid down his life for our beloved motherland.
In August 1990, the Squadron was equipped with Chinese built F7P aircraft in its arsenal and it was renamed as No 2 Air superiority Squadron with the call sign Minhas.
To enhance its operational readiness in the maritime security, it has been taking part in various maritime exercises which include Exercise Sea spark with Pakistan Navy and Exercise Inspired Alert with US Navy. No 2 Air Superiority Squadron flew the time tested F7P aircraft which has been replaced by the state of the art JF17 Thunder aircraft.—APP