Pakistan’s new J-10 squadron stretches legs in major defence exercise

Operational air defence exercise features drones, surface-air missiles
Sep 29, 2022
<p>The Chinese-built omnirole fighters J-10C Dragons were inducted in the PAF earlier this year. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT IMAGE.</p>

The Chinese-built omnirole fighters J-10C Dragons were inducted in the PAF earlier this year. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT IMAGE.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) just concluded an air defence exercise in the country focusing on the eastern defence theater, featuring some of the latest armaments recently inducted into the force.

According to a statement and other media released by Pakistan Air Force’s media wing the other day, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu on Wednesday oversaw the exercise.

The exercise “focused on fostering synergy while considering future warfare challenges,” as it practiced counter-air operations to validate contemporary employment concepts.

The exercise also focused on integrating the air force and army’s air defence assets while training PAF’s operational crew to develop, practice and validate tactics.

While monitoring the exercise from the Command Operations Center, the air chief assessed the integration and synergistic employment of offensive and defensive forces in conjunction with the army’s air defence to practice contemporary employment concepts under near-realistic threat scenarios.

Among the operational assets deployed were the full range of fighter aircraft, including the newly-inducted squadron of Chinese-built omnirole fighters J-10C. Other assets included static and mobile air defence elements, force multipliers and ground and aerial battle management centers, including the airborne early warning radars Saab.

While the J-10s have been included in a host of training and exercises since their induction in spring, this was the first major domestic multi-force exercise it had participated in.

 This combination image released by PAF about the training shows the J-10 along with the co-developed JF-17. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT IMAGE
This combination image released by PAF about the training shows the J-10 along with the co-developed JF-17. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT IMAGE

Earlier, the air chief visited an operational base to assess the integration of the newly acquired unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the PAF’s operational fleet and defence array as part of the exercise.

He highlighted the importance of unmanned aerial platforms.

“The role of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is becoming increasingly important for military conflicts,” he acknowledged in a nod to their use in nearby theatres in recent years.

“UAS have assumed the lead role as force multipliers that could play a decisive role in the final outcome of modern-day battles,” he said. The air force used both defensive and offensive UAS in the exercise.

 One of the UAS deployed during the exercise. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT
One of the UAS deployed during the exercise. PHOTO: PAF HANDOUT

The CAS emphasized that PAF was fully cognizant of the geo-strategic developments in the region and was fully prepared to defend Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Our focus remains on operational excellence, continued modernization through smart inductions of cutting-edge niche technologies, effect-based training and better human resource development to befittingly address contemporary and future challenges,” the air chief said

The air chief expressed his satisfaction regarding the overall combat readiness of the air force and assured the nation that PAF, alongside its sister services, is ever-ready to give a befitting response to any misadventure by the adversary.

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