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Pak approves purchase of Swedish aircraft

It had signed a billion-dollar deal with Sweden in Oct to purchase the early-warning-system aircraft.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 15:07 IST

Pakistan's government has approved the purchase of six Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft from Sweden, news reports said on Thursday.

The Cabinet approved the purchase after defence officials told the ministers that Pakistan required a reliable surveillance system to safeguard its airspace, a government statement said.

Pakistan had signed a one-billion-dollar deal with Sweden in October to purchase the early-warning-system aircraft.

President Pervez Musharraf had started negotiating for the aircraft during his July 2004 visit to Stockholm.

Also during Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz thanked China for its support and cooperation in building the JF-Thunder fighter aircraft.

The Pakistani Air Force is to induct the first batch of JF-17s in its fleet sometime next year, followed by the jet's serial production in the country the same year.

Conceived in 1992, the JF-17 project was jointly undertaken by Pakistan and China until the first prototype carried out its maiden flight in September 2003.

It is a lightweight multi-role jet that can fly at a speed of mach 1.6 with an operational ceiling of 16,765 metres.

First Published: May 25, 2006 15:07 IST