ISLAMABAD Pakistan Air Force on Thursday achieved another major milestone when first squadron of indigenously manufactured JF-17 Thunder formally joined its fighter aircraft fleet. The first JF-17 Thunder squadron was inducted into the PAF fighting fleet at a ceremony held at one of the PAFs operational bases. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony the Chief of the Air Staff congratulated the nation and the PAF personnel on the momentous occasion. The formal induction of JF-17 aircrafts in the PAF is in line with our resolve to face all challenges with poise and self-confidence. The PAF has invested in the force multipliers like the air-to-air refuellers, UAVs and AEW&C aircraft to enhance our capacity and capability to undertake complex operations, he said. These new state-of-the-art inductions make it imperative that we train hard and prepare well to induct and integrate the new systems professionally and safely. The achievements of PAF leave no doubt in my mind that we are immensely capable and, as a team can set and achieve still higher standards. We are a peaceful nation with no aggressive designs and want to maintain peace with honour in our region. We are inducting new systems to keep pace with technology and maintain credible conventional balance of force without which peace cannot be ensured in South Asia, he said. He said that JF-17 would be put through its paces in the forthcoming Exercise Hi-Mark 2010. The JF-17 Thunder has the capability to undertake entire spectrum of offensive as well as defensive missions. By joining the elite ranks of PAF, the JF-17 would not only enhance the combat readiness of PAF but would also form its backbone in future. The ceremony culminated when an A-5-III fighter led three JF-17 Thunder aircrafts in a flypast following which a single JF-17 performed aerobatics over the venue.