KARACHI, Aug 15: Two state-of-the-art ATR 72 aircraft were inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet on Thursday to augment its effectiveness and enhance operational flexibility of the force.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila was the chief guest at the induction ceremony held at the PNS Mehran.

The ATR aircraft are modern and widely operated turboprop platforms equipped with state-of-the-art Traffic Collision Avoidance System, autopilot, semi-glass cockpit instrumentation and high efficiency six bladed propellers.

“Average ground speed of an ATR is 250 knots with an endurance of about six hours.”

Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Sandila said that at sea “we are entrusted with the added responsibilities of countering terrorism, including drugs, arms and human smuggling that have led to more focused maritime security operations”.

He said: “Air arm is being transformed to remain on a par with continual changing threat. The integration of Pakistan upgrade programme, modified P3Cs and Z9 anti-surface warfare helicopters in fleet operations, addition of new warfare dimension of unmanned aerial vehicles as an established UAV Squadron and now the induction of ATR-72 are the steps towards the attachment of national objectives and international obligations.”

Naval aviators, Pakistan Navy flag officers and dignitaries attended the ceremony.—Staff Reporter

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