ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have begun their third joint air exercises, code named “Shaheen-III” at an operational base in Pakistan, a PAF spokesman told Dawn.com on Saturday.
“A contingent of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), comprises combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crew besides a Pakistan Air force (PAF) contingent are participating in the exercises,” said Air commodore Tariq Mehmood.
He said the PLAAF contingent is comprised of J-10 and J-7 combat aircraft where as JF-17 Thunder, Mirage and F7 PG combat aircraft of PAF are participating in the exercise.
Shaheen-III is the third in a series of multidimensional joint air exercises with PLAAF conducted annually on alternate basis in both the countries. Shaheen-II was conducted in China last year.
“The Air Exercises between the two professional Air Forces would not only cement the already existing friendly bonds but would also give an opportunity to learn from each other’s combat experience,” the PAF spokerem quoted Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt as saying while witnessing the exercises.
The air exercise is being conducted in “near real scenario” and will provide an opportunity to combat crew of both the air forces to accustom themselves with the latest concepts and practices, Butt commented.
The air chief expressed his satisfaction on the professional acumen of the participating combat pilots and technicians of the air exercise.
Air Commodore Mehmood said the Pakistan Air Force has been regularly participating in a number of international air exercises with some of the best air forces across the globe, including United States Air Force (USAF), Italian Air Force, Turkish Air Force (TuAF) and other allied countries.