ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Sunday employed air-to-air refuelling skill successfully thus attaining another milestone to prove itself ‘second to none’ as envisioned by Father of the Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The attainment of the capability was a part of the ongoing Highmark-10 exercises that kicked off a week ago.
The first air-to-air refueller aircraft of Pakistan Air Force which had joined the force in the mid of December 2009, took active part in the exercises and ably refuelled two fighter aircraft on the PAF inventory, a senior officer of PAF said.
The PAF is expecting delivery of three similar refuelling aircraft by June this year.
By virtue of its ability to refuel air defence aircraft in air, the overall PAF capability in terms of its effectiveness to defend the airspace of the motherland has significantly enhanced, he said.
The area of Highmark-10 exercises is spread over the entire country from Skardu in the north up to the Arabian Sea in the south. The exercise has been tailored to include joint operations with extensive participation from Pakistan Army and Pakistan Navy that would further enhance might to conduct joint operations amongst the three most essential services.
The Highmark-10 is aimed at conducting operations in near-realistic tactical environment while integrating new inductions and providing role-oriented training to combat and support elements of PAF and other services.
“It is designed to achieve stipulated objectives with special emphasis on exposing PAF combat crew to simulated air battles based on contemporary concepts,” he said.
The PAF officer said that all the main operating bases (peace time) and forward operating bases (war time) are operative during the ongoing exercises.
New inductions like JF-17 Thunder aircraft and force multipliers such as Saab-2000 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft and air-to-air refueller aircraft are participating in the exercises for the first time.
The Highmark is PAF’s biggest operational event that is being conducted after a pause of five years. The ever changing geo-political environment in the region demands change in the employment concepts and doctrinal changes in the application of airpower with emphasis on joint operations, the officer said.