`US to replace two Orion planes of Pakistan Navy`

Last Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 12:25

Islamabad: The US will replace two P-3C
Orion maritime surveillance planes of the Pakistan Navy that
were destroyed in a terrorist attack on a naval airbase in
Karachi last month, according to a media report on Saturday.

The US has confirmed that it will replace the
aircraft; diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by the Dawn
newspaper.

The American-made aircraft, each worth over USD 30
million, were destroyed when a group of heavily armed
militants stormed the PNS Mehran airbase in Karachi on May 22.

Ten security personnel were killed in the attack
before four of the attackers were gunned down or blew
themselves up.

Under an agreement, the US is set to supply nine
P-3C Orion aircraft to Pakistan to enhance its surveillance
capabilities. Pakistan had received five aircraft so far, of
which two were destroyed in the recent attack.

Four more are currently being upgraded in the US
before their transfer to Pakistan. The US ostensibly provided
the aircraft to boost Pakistan`s capabilities to keep a watch
on terrorist activities along its coastline.

Experts say the Orions play a crucial role in the
Pakistan Navy`s efforts to monitor the movements of Indian
warships in regional waters.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 12:25
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