KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: JF-17 Thunder has been formally inducted in the prestigious No 2 Multirole Squadron of Pakistan Air Force.
To mark this historic event, an induction ceremony was held at PAF Base, Masroor, says a press statement issued here on Monday.
Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Minister of Defence was the Chief Guest at the occasion. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was also present at the ceremony.
The Chief Guest awarded Squadron Colour to the No-2 Multirole Squadron. JF-17 Thunders presented a fly past on the occasion. A documentary on the history of No 2 Squadron was also shown during the ceremony.
While speaking at the occasion the Air Chief said, “since its inception No 2 Squadron has commendable achievements to its credit. I pay tribute to Shuhada, veterans and predecessors of No 2 Squadron who displayed exceptional professionalism and valour.
JF-17 Thunder is a prized possession of PAF and the nation of Pakistan. It is a proof of our abilities and a testimony of our dedication and evidence of smooth progress on the road of indigenization. He reiterated that induction of JF-17 remains our top most priority.
Induction of JF17 in No.2 Squadron would help create a strategic balance much needed. No 2 Squadron has an added responsibility of ensuring the protection of sea lines of communication and also defend the coastal areas with all out support to Pakistan Navy in their offensive operations.
While speaking at the occasion the Chief Guest said, “it is a historic moment that PAF is progressing in the right direction, at a right pace in the line with the vision of our great Quaid. PAF enjoys the status of being one of the most respected air forces across the globe.
PAF has played a pivotal role to effectively counter the threat of terrorism, especially in ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. We believe that PAF will always be steadfast in safeguarding national security against any threat. Maintaining highest standards of operational readiness is certainly harder than achieving it.
He further said that adding the sophisticated platforms and equipment to PAF inventory is essential to maintain its status as 21st century modern air force.
Induction of JF-17 aircraft in PAF started in 2007 and has continued during subsequent years. Today, Pakistan Air Force is operating four JF-17 Squadrons which are actively engaged in all types of operations. Induction of JF-17 aircraft in No 2 Multirole Squadron is a major milestone towards self reliance and enhancement of operational capability.
No 2 squadron was raised at Mauripur in June 1956 and started operations as a fighter conversion unit. In the early days of its inception it played an important role in 1965 and 71 wars when it carried out close air support missions.
The squadron has the unique honour of being the heirs of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas (Shaheed) who laid down his life for our beloved motherland. In August 1990 the Squadron was equipped with Chinese built F7P aircraft in its arsenal and it was renamed as No 2 Air superiority Squadron with the call sign Minhas.
To enhance its operational readiness in the maritime security, it has been taking part in various maritime exercises which include Exercise Sea spark with Pakistan Navy and Exercise Inspired Alert with US Navy. No 2 Air Superiority Squadron flew the time tested F7P aircraft which has been replaced by the state of the art JF17 Thunder aircraft.