Islamabad, Feb 21: Two P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft modified with US assistance were inducted into the Pakistan Navy's aviation fleet today.
The aircraft, modified with modern avionics and sensors with US assistance being provided under the Foreign Military Funding programme, were inducted during a ceremony at a naval airbase in Karachi.
The Pakistan Navy is set to receive a total of six such aircraft from the US in batches of two each. The first batch was inducted into the navy in 2010, a naval statement said.
The modified aircraft have “extended surveillance capability”, which will help the navy maintain vigil in its “vital area of interest in the north Arabian Sea”, the statement said.
The area is regarded as an important trade and energy corridor for the global economy and is home to “intense maritime activity, both legal and illegal, and thus warrants continuous guard”, the statement said.
Two P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft were destroyed and 10 security personnel were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists stormed a naval airbase in Karachi in May last year.