Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pakistan Navy acquires eight Orions

Islamabad, Aug 31, 2005

Pakistan Navy has acquired eight P-3C Orion aircraft from United States, Pakistan Navy (PN) said on Wednesday.

"The title of these aircraft has been shifted to PN with signing of the transfer documents by the representatives of U.S. and Pakistan Navies, making the aircraft a property of the government of Pakistan," a Navy statement said.

P-3C Orion is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft with an endurance of about 18 hours and can carry Harppon missiles.

These aircraft would be fitted with modern avionics and mission system by M/s Lockheed Martin, the manufacture of P-3C Orion, according to the statement.

"The aircraft are being provided free of cost by the U.S. Navy and the expenses for modification of aircraft avionics systems will be met mostly from the U.S. military aid."

With the induction of eight P-3Cs, the existing fleet of PN P-3Cs will grow up to 10 aircraft.

Two P-3Cs already with PN are presently undergoing overhaul in Pakistan with U.S. assistance and are expected to be operational by the end of this year.

Pakistan Naval Chief Admiral Shahid Karimullah has termed acquiring of the aircraft a significant achievement, the statement said.

"Provision of these aircraft is indicative of strong Pak-U.S. relations and hoped that the defence cooperation between the navies to two countries would further increase in times to come," he added.

Marco P.J. Borst
P-3 Orion Research Group - The Netherlands

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