ISLAMABAD: A formation of 08 JF-17 Thunder aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) escorted the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in Pakistan on a two day official visit on Monday.
The Thunder formation led by Wing Commander Nauman Khalil escorted the VVIP aircraft of the Chinese President, the moment it entered the Pakistani airspace and remained with it till it landed at PAF Base Nur Khan.
Later during the welcome ceremony at Nur Khan, 08 JF-17 Thunders flew passed the saluting dais, honoring the Chinese President, in two formations of four aircraft each.
According to a PAF press statement, it is PAF’s unique tradition of welcoming the visiting heads of states/ governments of the friendly countries whenever they are on their official visits to Pakistan. PAF’s current Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman also had an honor of leading such formation during his illustrious career.
He (then Wing Commander) led a formation of F-16 aircraft escorting the then visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin in December, 1996.
JF-17 programme is a joint venture between Pakistan and China and is termed as a Flagship of friendly relationship between two countries. JF-17 is jointly designed, developed and produced at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra.
The programme offers a unique opportunity for strategic engagement between aviation industries of two countries.
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