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PN inducts upgraded aircraft, helicopters into its fleet

By Muhammad Anis
December 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Navy on Wednesday inducted its first marinised and upgraded ATR aircraft, state of the art Simulator of Z9EC Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter and Sea King Helicopters in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational capability.

An impressive induction ceremony was held at PNS Mehran where Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbassi, was the chief guest. The first marinized ATR aircraft, a modern and widely operated turboprop platform, has been retrofitted with state of the art weapons and sensors, which will substantially enhance Fleet Air Arm’s operational capability commensurate with contemporary Maritime Warfare requirements. Whereas, induction of two Mk 3A/ Mk 4 Sea King helicopters acquired from the UK into its existing fleet of Sea King helicopters will further enhance Pakistan Navy fleet operational capability particularly to troops transfer.

One helicopter is purpose built for search and rescue missions at sea and other aircraft is optimised for the troops-carrying role. In order to ensure quality training of aircrew, the Pakistan Navy also inducted a state of the art Simulator of Z9EC Anti- Submarine Warfare helicopter to train its aircrew. This simulator will enable aircrew to acquire training for anti- submarine and emergency handling in a cost effective manner without endangering life and equipment.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief of the naval staff said, in addition to traditional roles, the Pakistan Navy is also confronted with emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy in the region and carrying out maritime security operations.

Meanwhile, the second nine-day Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW-18) on the theme ‘Blue Economy- Prosperous Pakistan’ at the Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore, on Wednesday. This national level workshop is aimed at affording an opportunity to underline the significance of maritime sector of Pakistan to create awareness for a paradigm shift to tap its potential in a country affected by 'Sea Blindness'.

Dignitaries from various walks of life, including parliamentarians, policy makers, bureaucrats, intelligentsia, business entrepreneurs, academia and media representatives are attending the MARSEW-18. The workshop will entail on campus academic activities wherein speakers, scholars and subject matter experts will present the papers on array of topics related to maritime security challenges and opportunities.