Pakistan Navy has inducted its 1st marinized/upgraded ATR aircraft and Sea King Helicopters (Ex Mod UK) in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational capability. Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi graced the induction ceremony held on PNS MEHRAN as the chief guest.
The 1st marinized ATR aircraft; a modern and widely operated turboprop platform, has been retrofitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, which will substantially enhance Fleet Air Arm’s operational capability. Induction of two Sea King helicopters (Mk3a/Mk4) acquired from UK into its existing fleet of Sea King helicopters will further enhance Pakistan Naval fleet’s operational capability, particularly for troop transfer. One helicopter is purpose-built for Search & Rescue missions at sea and the other is optimized for the troop-carrying role.
In order to ensure quality training of aircrew, an advanced simulator of Z9EC anti-submarine warfare helicopter was also inducted. This simulator will enable aircrew to acquire training for anti-submarine and emergency handling in a cost-effective manner without endangering life and equipment.
Speaking on the occasion, the CNS stated: “In addition to traditional roles, Pakistan Navy (PN) is also confronted with emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy in the region and carrying out maritime security operations.” The CNS emphasized that we should also be cognizant of threats posed by hybrid warfare and cyber crime. “Pakistan Navy is aware of these challenges and induction of these modern platforms will augment PN’s operational capabilities manifold to more effectively face these challenges, achieve national objectives, honor international obligations and safeguard our vital maritime interests”, he said.
He added that the induction of training simulator will provide the PN with a greater capability to train its aircrew with full degree of freedom and in achieving the highest standard of professionalism.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Navy flag officers, officers and civilian dignitaries.
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