Pak-China Joint Air Exercise “Shaheen-IX” Has Started At PAF Base Bholari

Pak-China Joint Air Exercise “Shaheen-IX” Has Started At PAF Base Bholari
credits: DGPR (AIR FORCE)

on 09 December 2020 Pak-China Joint Air Exercise “Shaheen-IX” has started at an Operational Air Base of Pakistan Air Force.

The contingent of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), comprising combat Pilots, Air Defence Controllers, and technical ground crew is participating in the exercise.

The drills come just a week after Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe visited Pakistan and signed a memorandum of understanding for deepening military cooperation. The exercises, dubbed Shaheen — or Falcon — IX, are underway at the newly operational Bholari air base in the arid region of Sindh in the country’s south, less than 200 km from the Indian border.

The Pakistan Air Force released a video showing the wide range of military aircraft on display in the exercise, which will last until late December. China has sent its fourth-generation Shenyang J-11 air superiority fighters and Chengdu J-10 multirole jets. Pakistan, meanwhile, is flying a mix of third-generation Chinese-made Chengdu F-7 interceptors, French Dassault Mirage 5 attack planes, and the new multirole JF-17 Thunder — jointly produced by China and Pakistan. No American equipment, such as the F-16, has been deployed, the Pakistanis said.

The opening ceremony of the exercise was jointly witnessed by Air Vice Marshal Waqas Ahmed Sulehri, Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations), PAF and Major General Sun Hong, Assistant Chief of Staff, PLAAF.

Major General Sun Hong said, “The Joint Exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two Air Forces”.

Welcoming the Chinese contingent, Air Vice Marshal Waqas Ahmed Sulehri said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the Air Forces, thereby fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries.”

Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of Joint Air Exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis.

Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of Joint Air Exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis.

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