Pak to get Orion aircraft from US next month
Pakistan will receive the first batch of eight P3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the US next month.india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 11:30 IST
Pakistan will receive the first batch of eight P3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the US next month, which is expected to enhance its navy's maritime capability.
The first batch of the aircraft, which are being supplied free of cost, will be delivered in March, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Muhammad Shafi said.
"The aircraft are being provided free and the expenses for modification of aircraft avionics systems will be met mostly from the US military," Shafi was quoted as saying by Pakistan's INP news agency.
"We are trying to get the rest of planes before schedule to meet the maritime threat," he added.
The US had decided to provide Pakistan with the aircraft in recognition of the latter's role in the ongoing war against terrorism.
The present deal is part of US military assistance package.
Pakistan was expected to get two P-3C Orions in the first phase. The aircraft is expected to improve command-and-control capabilities.
"Pakistan is already using Orion aircraft and it has met all expectations of the nation's navy. Its effectiveness has propelled the country to get more upgraded versions of the aircraft from the US and rest of the aircraft are in the pipeline," Defence Spokesman Shaukat Sultan said.
"Pakistan has tried and tested Orion and it is matchless for reconnaissance operations," Sultan said.