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April 28, 2014

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PAF can meet all challenges including that of Taliban: Air chief

SARGODHA: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force (PAF), has said the PAF is ready to cope with all challenges, including any operation against the Taliban.
He was talking to the media on the occasion of the induction of the first batch of F-16 jets comprising five aircraft from Jordan here on Sunday. An impressive ceremony was held to induct these aircraft in the inventory of the PAF. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt was the chief guest on the occasion.
Nawaf Khalifa Saraieh, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Pakistan, and other high ranking officers from the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Army also attended the ceremony.The air chief said that these aircraft would enhance the PAF capability to counter any internal and external threats.
He further said that PAF would perform its duties as envisaged by the Government of Pakistan. He also said that these aircraft had been purchased from Jordan at a nominal cost.“The aircraft have been purchased from the Royal Jordanian Air Force after a series of negotiations held between the concerned ministries and the concerted efforts of Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt,” an official said.
According to a senior PAF official, in order to avoid extra burden on the national exchequer, the PAF opted for the used planes as they have been acquired at a nominal cost per bird and could serve for a longer duration.
The PAF has acquired a squadron of F-16A/B aircraft, which were in the use of Royal Jordania.The first batch has been flown by PAF pilots from Jordan while the remaining aircraft are planned to be flown in to Pakistan very soon. Acquisition of these aircraft would not only augment the aerial defence of the country but also greatly assist in pilot training. Additionally, it is yet another manifestation of the brotherly relations between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the two air forces. The PAF is already

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effectively using this state of the art, multi-role aircraft for the past three decades. The purchased aircraft are in immaculate condition and have been upgraded for flying in the coming years.Earlier, on the arrival of the air chief, he was received by Air Vice Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Air Officer Commanding Central Air Command.

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