ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: After serving the Pakistan Air Force for over 36 years, the fleet of the two-seat fighter trainer aircraft, FT-5, stood retired on Thursday and replaced by advanced jet trainer K-8P.

“The re-equipment ceremony held at the No 1 fighter conversion unit, PAF Base Mianwali, marked the end of the long and illustrious services rendered by Chinese FT-5 fighter trainer aircraft. The FCU is now being re-equipped with the state-of-the-art K-8P fighter trainer aircraft,” an announcement by the PAF said.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, said: “The advanced and focused training at No-1 FCU on K-8P aircraft would assist the PAF to remain an air force second to none. This aircraft will play an important role in the training of our pilots for the future and will have a significant impact on the Ops Readiness of the PAF.”

The unit imparts fighter flying training to the newly-graduated pilots of PAF.