Sunday September 26, 2021

Pak, China air exercise Shaheen IX underway

December 11, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan-China Joint Air Exercise ‘Shaheen-IX’ is underway at a PAF’s operational base since December 8th, officials said.

The contingents of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) comprising various aerial platforms, combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crews are participating in the exercise.

The opening ceremony of the exercise was jointly witnessed by Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air Vice Marshal Waqas Ahmed Sulehri and Assistant Chief of Staff, PLAAF Major General Sun Hong, it said.

Maj-Gen Hong said, “The joint exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two air forces”. Welcoming the Chinese contingent, Air Vice Marshal Sulehri said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the air forces, fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries”.

The joint exercise started a week after Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to the country.

The ‘Shaheen-IX,’ would last until the end of December. The joint training, part of the 2020 China-Pakistan military cooperation plan, will play a positive role in promoting military relations, deepening practical cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, and improving the actual level of combat training of the two forces.

It will involve variety of air combat missions, rigorous training missions, near realistic combat scenarios, consolidating interoperability.Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of joint air exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis. The first training was held in March 2011, in Pakistan, and the last one was held in Northwest China in August, 2019, and had lasted for half a month. The training in 2019 involved some 50 aircrafts and complete combat units.