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.