Pak inducts US surveillance aircraft into navy


Islamabad: Pakistan Navy on Tuesday inducted two US-made P3C
Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, nearly a year after two similar
planes were destroyed by heavily armed terrorists who stormed a strategic
naval airbase in Karachi.

The aircraft, modified with modern avionics and sensors with US assistance
being provided under the Foreign Military Funding programme, were inducted
during a ceremony at the naval airbase in southern Sindh's provincial
capital Karachi.

The Pakistan Navy is set to receive a total of six such aircraft from the
US in batches of two each. The first batch was inducted into the navy in
2010, a naval statement said.

The modified aircraft have "extended surveillance capability", which will
help the navy maintain vigil in its "vital area of interest in the north
Arabian Sea", the statement said.

The area is regarded as an important trade and energy corridor for the
global economy and is home to "intense maritime activity, both legal and
illegal, and thus warrants continuous guard", the statement said.

Two P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft were destroyed and 10
security personnel were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists
stormed a naval airbase in Karachi in May last year.

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