KARACHI: Pakistan Navy has inducted two state of the art ATR-72 aircraft in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational flexibility and reach. An impressive induction ceremony was held at PNS Mehran, Thursday. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, was the chief guest on the occasion. ATRs are modern and widely operated turboprop platforms equipped with state of the art Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), auto pilot, semi glass cockpit instrumentation and high efficiency 6 bladed propellers.
Average ground speed of the aircraft is 250 knots with an endurance of about 6 hours. The induction of these aircrafts, being considered as a giant leap forward in accelerating the capabilities of PN Arm, will provide a low cost solution to Maritime Operations at sea.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of the Naval Staff said that at sea we are entrusted with the added responsibilities of countering terrorism including drugs, arms and human smuggling which has led to more focused maritime security operations. These clear and present dangers demand a timely response and an enhancement in capabilities, in order to match the changing maritime paradigm. Air arm is being transformed to remain at par with continual changing threat.
Integration of Pakistan Upgrade Program (PUP), modified P3Cs and Z9 Anti Surface warfare helicopters in Fleet operations, addition of new warfare dimension of unmanned aerial vehicles as an established UAV Squadron and now the induction of ATR-72 are the steps towards the attachment of national objectives and international obligations.
Veteran Naval Aviators, Pakistan Navy Flag Officers and civilian and military dignitaries attended the ceremony.