Islamabad: Pakistan today formally inducted
its first airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft
as the air force chief unveiled plans for future acquisitions
aimed at bolstering the country`s air-power and ability to
tackle diverse threats.
The Saab-2000 aircraft, fitted with an Erieye radar
system, was inducted into the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during
a ceremony held at an airbase at Kamra in Punjab province.
Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman said the aircraft is
meant to defend Pakistan`s airspace and will not destabilise
regional security as a number of its neighbours have similar
The surveillance aircraft is capable of detecting and
identifying aircraft well before they enter Pakistani
airspace, Suleman said, adding it is also capable of detecting
moving targets on the ground.
Three more such surveillance aircraft ordered from Sweden
will be delivered next year.
Pakistan is in negotiations with China for four more
AWACS aircraft and these are expected to be inducted by 2012,
Negotiations are also being conducted with China for
acquiring J-10 combat jets, he said.
The first PAF squadron equipped with JF-17 Thunder jets
developed jointly by Pakistan and China will be operational by
June next year, Suleman told reporters.