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PN to acquire UAVs, early warning aircraft

January 30, 2009

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KARACHI, Jan 29: Pakistan Navy will soon acquire Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to strengthen its air fleet, according to Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir.

Speaking on Thursday at a ceremony marking the induction of a Fokker aircraft and commissioning of the T-56 Engine Test Bench at the Pakistan Navy Aviation Base, PNS Mehran, Admiral Bashir described the induction of Z-9 helicopters, AEWs, UAVs and P-3Cs as a “force multiplier” for the navy’s fleet of aircraft.

To enhance the “subsurface defence capability”, he said, a contract would be signed soon for the German-origin Type-214 submarines.

Commander of Naval Aviation Commodore Adnan Nazir said the Fokker, being a versatile aircraft, would serve to augment the operational capabilities of the fleet. The setting up of the T-56 Engine Test Bench was a step towards self-reliance as it would be used for overhauling and maintaining P-3C aircraft, he added.

Admiral Bashir, who is Pro-Chancellor of the Bahria University, formally launched the varsity’s medical and dental college.

The college is affiliated with the PNS Shifa hospital and is recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. The college will initially admit 100 students on merit.

Admiral Bashir thanked the administration of Altamash Dental Institute for their cooperation in establishing the college. He expressed the hope that the college would impart quality education, thereby helping to improve medical facilities in the country.

The rector of the university, Vice-Admiral (retd) Farooq Rashid, spoke about the teaching methods adopted by the college.

The principal of the college, Dr Tipu Sultan, said the country only had 79 medical colleges and universities, of which 50 were in the private sector. He said his college would soon have its own campus near PNS Shifa hospital.