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‘Pakistan to get fifth generation fighter jets’

By our correspondents
December 03, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will acquire the fifth generation multi-role fighter aircraft from the international market but, for the time being, it will devote its full attention on its state-of-the-art JF-17 Thunder to make it the most effective of its generation.
It has been revealed by Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman while talking exclusively with The News here on Wednesday evening. He said that Pakistan wouldn’t lag behind the countries of the region in obtaining the fifth generation planes and it has opened negotiations with the US manufacturers for exploring options of buying single engine multirole F-35 viewed as the plane of the next decade.
At least three other options are under consideration. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could be equipped with aircraft of fifth generation within five years. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said that Indians were buying 126 French Rafale calling them as fifth generation planes but after discussion of years and hitches, they had decided to buy 36 planes at the end of the day and still the deal was in troubled waters.
“I am not prepared to acknowledge Rafale as a plane of the fifth generation since its features are confined to the fourth generation’s planes,” the CAS maintained.
He said that Indian Air Force (IAF), despite having a numerical edge, doesn’t have superiority over Pakistan since Pakistan has planned its air strength in a way where no aggression could work against it. The PAF’s devotion and skill is second to none and for the reason it is graded one of the best air powers of the world, he said.
“We will never let the nation down in any eventuality or test. People have faith in their armed forces and they are very rightly doing so,” he added. He disclosed that Thunder JF-17 was being sold to four countries without disclosing the buyers and number of the planes. He said that it has become difficult to supply all the ordered aircraft within the stipulated time-frame but we will fulfill our obligations.
The JF-17 to be supplied by Pakistan would be the best in quality as Pakistan wouldn’t compromise on the standards. He said that the operation in the tribal areas was almost complete but some pockets were being cleared.
Without giving any deadline, he said that the whole area would be cleared of terrorists and their facilitators soon. “No deadline for declaring the end of the operation can be given in such operations since you never know what could sneak in from across the borders. The operation has gone in an excellent way and the PAF did its duty in an exemplary manner.”
The air chief said that the PAF was also playing its role in the Karachi operation and he had issued instructions afresh today (Wednesday) morning to accelerate its part of activities to curb terrorism.