Magnificent roll out of JF-17

THE skies of Pakistan witnessed one of the most fascinating and thrilling events in the history of the country as the first indigenously co-produced (with China) multi-role fighter aircraft rolled out at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra on Monday. The successful production and flight of the modern and sophisticated aircraft, which is comparable to most of the state-of-the-art fighters in possession of other countries has aptly been described as PAF’s gift to the nation and a symbol of Pak-China friendship.

This is indeed a milestone in the defence production arena for a variety of reasons. The development comes at a time when the nation is confronted with internal and external challenges of unprecedented magnitude and the captivated flight of the JF-17, manufactured locally with the Chinese collaboration, has lifted the otherwise sagging morale of the people. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has rightly pointed out that it was not a meagre achievement by any standards, as it launches Pakistan into an elite club of nations that posses the capability of manufacturing fighter aircraft. Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has summed up the achievement by describing it as triumph of the will of the nation. It is a step towards achieving our cherished dream of strengthening the national security through indigenisation and building the country’s aviation related industries. This leap forward in much-needed self-reliance in defence would provide Pakistan Air Force, to some extent, deterrent capability and the experience gained through its development would open up new avenues of boosting the country’s air defence. The project for indigenous co-production of the high-tech JF-17 thunder aircraft has been there for years and the successive chiefs of the PAF made their contributions to it but the credit goes to the incumbent Chief Rao Qamar Suleman who accorded it the required priority to ensure its fast-track completion. The nation also salutes PAF engineers and technicians who worked hard to make its production possible despite many odds. On this occasion, the nation also expresses its gratitude to the time-tested friend of the country — China — of which strategic support helped realize this dream. We are confident that it would join hands in other areas of the defence production as well as both of them face similar long-term threats to their respective security.—Pakobserver

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