ISLAMABAD - In an attempt to boost its operational capabilities, “state-of-the-art” maritime patrol aircrafts (MPA) and “tactical” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its Air Arm were inducted into the Pakistan Navy at a ceremony held in Karachi on Saturday.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi was the chief guest at the ceremony, said a statement issued by the media wing of Pakistan Navy.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of the Naval Staff, while highlighting the role of Pakistan Navy in safeguarding the maritime frontiers and ensuring safety of sea lines of communication, said that induction of ATR aircraft with weapons and sensors would substantially enhance operational capabilities of Pakistan Navy Fleet’s Air Arm. Moreover, induction of another ATR in cargo/para-drop role will provide added flexibility to the Special Forces’ operations.

The Naval Chief further added that induction of LUNA NG unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Fleet Air Arm will further augment Pakistan Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in maritime domain especially in Creeks areas and along the coastal belt.

Inducts patrol aircrafts, tactical UAVs

The Admiral urged the crew of newly-inducted ATRs & UAVs to make optimum utilisation of these platforms in order to contribute effectively towards combat potential of Pakistan Navy Fleet.

Appreciating the detection of Indian submarine by Pakistan Navy Aircraft in post-Pulwama standoff, the Naval Chief said that he was glad that Pakistan Navy’s Aviation Fleet proved its mastery and made the whole nation proud.

He advised the aviators to keep the same spirit and be prepared for any eventuality that may rise anytime. He also highlighted that Pakistan Navy’s developmental plans, including acquisition of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in support of maritime operations, too.

The ceremony was attended by high ranking officials, serving and retired aviators of Pakistan Navy and sister services and representatives of concerned government departments.