ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Monday formally inducted JF-17 Thunder fighter jets into its combat school.

In a special ceremony held at the Combat Commanders’ School at PAF Base Mushaf, the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets — often called the ‘Pride of Pakistan’ by military men — were formally inducted in the country’s defence force.

The jets carried out a display that was met with applause by a jubilant crowd that had gathered for the ceremony. The pilots were later greeted by children who presented them bouquets of flowers. Air Marshal Sohail Aman, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) who was the Chief Guest at the occasion also met the air and ground crew.

The induction of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets had begun in 2007 and has been continuing since then. The PAF currently has two JF-17 Squadrons that are actively engaged in different operations. The inclusion of the aircraft is being termed a major milestone towards self reliance and enhancement of operational capability.

The JF-17 Thunder — an indigenous war fighting machine co-developed by Pakistan and China — is a light weight, all weather multi-role fighter jet. It is equipped with a modern state-of-the-art avionics suite and an advanced cockpit layout. The fighter jet has the capability to carry out air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes, and can be fitted with beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles.