KARACHI, Oct 13 (APP): The
First Block-52 F-16D aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) rolled out on Tuesday
at a ceremony held at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LM Aero) facility at Dallas -
Fort Worth, Texas USA. An ISPR (PAF) press release issued here on Tuesday
evening said that the Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air
Staff, Pakistan Air Force, attended the ceremony as the chief guest.
It said that Pakistan had
signed a contract with US Government in September 2006 for supply of 18 Block-52
F-16 C/D aircraft from M/s LM Aero.
These state-of-the-art F-16s
will bolster PAF’s fleet of high tech combat aircraft and will enable it to
undertake wide variety of missions across the entire spectrum of operations.
After completion of testing and
integration of the new system, the first batch of F-16 C/D aircraft is scheduled
to arrive in Pakistan in June 2010, and the delivery of all 18 F-16s is planned
to complete by December 2010.
Speaking on the occasion, ACM
Rao Qamar Suleman said that this programme has seen many ups and downs since
signing of the contract. The rollout of the first aircraft shows that the
programme is on track.
Besides CAS PAF, the ceremony
was also attended by Ms Kay Granger (Member US House of Representatives), Gen
Norton Schwartz (Chief of Staff USAF), General David H Petraeus, Commander
CENTCOM, Hussain Haqqani (Ambassador of Pakistan to the US), Ralph Heath
(President LM Aero), John Larson (VP F-16/F-2/T-50 Programmes) and other
distinguished guests from the US Government, LM Aero and the Government of