Pakistan Air Force has re-equipped its No 26 Squadron with the jointly developed and locally produced JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. Ceremony for the re-equipment was attended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.

26th squadron Pakistan Air Force was previously flying the Nanchang A-5 III Fantan ground attack aircrafts.

At this ceremony Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman also confirmed that No 16 Squadron has also received JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. He said that introduction of the JF-17 Thunders into service has revolutionized PAF’s operational concepts.

He said that currently Pakistan is at war and Pakistan Air Force knows its responsibilities and PAF keep playing active role in helping the Pakistan army in this war. Air Chief Marshal Suleman said that Pakistan Air Force’s resolve remain unshakable and PAF shall defend the Pakistan against any aggression, be it internal or external. At the end of ceremony a joint formation of A-5 III Fantan and JF-17 Thunder fighter jets presented a fly-past.

In next phase JF-17 Thunders will start replacing Dassault Mirage III/V and Chengdu F-7 aircrafts from Pakistani service. Pakistan and china are also working on stealthy version of JF-17 Thunder with reduced RCS.

Pakistan Air Force has recently inducted 17 F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets into the 5th squadron with last F-16 still in the US undergoing testing. These new F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets are powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-229 power plants and use APG-68(V)9 radar and long range AIM-120 C5 AMRAAM BVR missiles.

Pakistan is also upgrading 45 old F-16A/B Block 15 fighter jets with new avionics which will bring them to the block 52 standard and upgraded aircrafts will be able to use all the modern weaponry acquired with new 16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets.

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