Standing Committee of Senate on defense has said that Pakistan Air Force needs funds from the Ministry of Finance in order to replace the obsolete and ancient systems in its service.
Committee has recommended that Ministry of Finance should issue appropriate funds to ensure that PAF can replace the ancient fighter jets which are 30 to 40 year. Committee has shown satisfaction over the replacement of the A-5 fighter jets with the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and noted that both Mirage-III/V and F-7P/MP also needs immediate replacement.
Members of the Sanding committee noted that several projects of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra have been hit hard due to the lack of funds. They showed their displeasure over the fact the even projects like JF-17 Thunder has suffered from the lack of support from the finance ministry of Pakistan.
Senate’s members also noted the fact that Pakistan Air Force will need to increase the pace of replacement of the Mirage-III/V and F-7P/MP as F-16 fighter jets currently undergoing up-gradation are over 20 years old.
Committee was informed that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra will produce atleast 18 new JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to replace another squadron of fighter jets and production capacity is being increased to produce more JF-17 Thunders if funds are made available.
Chairman of the Committee, Javed Ashraf Qazi along with the members of the standing committee were briefed at the Parliament House about the efforts to modernize the Pakistan air force and problems face by it. This briefing was also attended by the Secretary Defense and Production Israr Ghuman along with heads of Defense production department attended.
He said that approval of the Finance Ministry is required even for the putting the defiance products on display the at different international defense exhibitions and in many cases approval is not granted in spite of the fact that defense production companies earn profits and deposit it in the national exchequer.
Given the current situation, Standing Committee of Senate on defense has to convene a meeting of all the heads of defense departments and Finance ministry officials.