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December 30, 2001
1530 IST

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Pakistan all set to acquire Chinese
F-7 fighters

H S Rao in London

Pakistan was expected to receive delivery of the first two batches of new-generation F-7 series fighter aircraft from China this month, adding more teeth to its air force, a leading defence weekly has said.

Quoting Pakistan Air Force chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir, the Jane's Defence Weekly said the service's new F-7PG fighters were scheduled to arrive in Karachi on December 17 and 20..

The report, however, did not confirm the delivery.

Chinese specialists were also expected to arrive in the country in late December to oversee the aircraft's assembly.

The upgradation is taking place just before the PAF retires the fleet of 1960's-era F-6 air-defence fighters on March 23 next.

First deliveries of the new aircraft are slated for the 31st Fighter Wing at air force base Quetta/Samungli, with both batches to enter frontline service by April next.

The new generation aircraft is a further development on the MiG-21 design, the J-7PG features improved avionics and a more powerful engine than the PAF's current inventory of F-7MP 'Skybolt' fighters.

PTI

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