Karachi: The Pakistan Navy on Thursday inducted two ATR-72 aircraft in its fleet as part of an ongoing programme to enhance its operational capabilities, officials said.
The turboprop aircraft, equipped with collision avoidance system and semi-glass cockpit instrumentation, were inducted during a ceremony held at PNS Mehran base in this southern port city.
The naval chief, Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, was the chief guest at the event.
The induction of the aircraft is being seen as a "giant leap forward in accelerating the capabilities of the Pakistan Navy" and they will provide a "low cost solution to maritime operations at sea", a spokesman said.
Sandila said the navy was involved in countering terrorism and arms and human smuggling, which have led to focused maritime security operations.
"These clear and present dangers demand a timely response and an enhancement in capabilities, in order to match the changing maritime paradigm," he said.
Other officials said the navy had inducted modified P3C Orion surveillance aircraft and Z9 anti-surface warfare helicopters and established an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron.