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Pak navy to soon acquire AWACS, UAVs

world Updated: Jan 29, 2009 15:37 IST

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Pakistan navy will soon acquire airborne early warning aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles to strengthen its capabilities, naval chief Admiral Noman Bashir said on Thursday.

Addressing a ceremony in this southern port city, Bashir said the induction of the Chinese-made Z-9 helicopters, airborne early warning aircraft, UAVs and additional P3C Orion surveillance aircraft would be a force multiplier for the navy's air arm. He did not give details about the number of aircraft to be acquired by the force.

A contract for HDW Type-214 submarines would also be concluded soon to enhance the navy's sub-surface defence capability, he said.

The ceremony was organised to mark the induction of a Fokker aircraft and commissioning of a test bench for engines of the P3C aircraft at the naval aviation base PNS Mehran in Karachi, a statement said.

Commodore Adnan Nazir, commander of naval aviation, said the Fokker, being a versatile and multi-role aircraft, would augment the operational flexibility of the navy's air arm.

The setting up of engine test bench is aimed at achieving self-reliance in overhauling and maintaining the engines of P-3C aircraft, Nazir said.