of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman on Saturday said that first Pakistan made JF-17 - Thunder - aircraft would fly in the country’s airspace by end of this year.He made this announcement while addressing the Graduation Ceremony of No 38 Combat Commanders’ Course which was held at Pakistan Air Force Base, Mushaf (Sargodha).
In his address to the graduating Combat Commanders, he said, TheJF-17 Thunder program is on track. “We will start production of thisaircraft from 30th of this month and Inshallah 1st Made inPakistan JF-17 aircraft will fly in Pakistan's airspace by end of this year.”
“PAF has extensively flown against the militants in Swat as well asin FATA. Application of airpower has brought about tangible results.This is a new type of warfare in which PAF has been participating for the first time during the last one year or so in support of Pakistan Army. We will continue our contribution towards our national security effort as long as it is required.”
Referring to the challenges confronted the nation, he said ‘thechallenges, both internal and external, that confront us today and ourresponses to these have to be viewed in the broader perspectiveof the changes that are shaping the geopolitical landscape of theworld. Apart from the traditional hostile adversary, new frontiers ofconflict have lately emerged for us in the West and from within. Thesedevelopments pose a great deal of threat to ournational security.”
The Chief Guest awarded certificates and trophies to the graduatingofficers who underwent a strenuous and professionally demanding course.
The Chief of the Air Staff Trophy for the best Combat Commander wasawarded to Squadron Leader Haider Shahbaz Ali while Air OfficerCommanding Air Defence Command Trophy for best Combat Controller wasawarded to Squadron Leader Saquib Rehman.
Earlier on his arrival, the Chief Guest was received by AirCommodore M Ashfaque Arain, Base Commander PAF Base, Mushaf. Theceremony was attended by Principal Staff Officers and field commandersofPakistan Air Force.