China says air force drills with Pakistan deter terrorists


BEIJING: Sept 26 (TNS): The air forces of China and Pakistan have deterred terrorist forces with joint training exercises in northwest China, a senior military officer of China said.

The drills maintain national security and protect people of the two countries, Zhan Houshun, air force commander of the Western Theater Command, said at the close of the exercises.

“Shaheen VI” began on Sept. 7 and has been fully open to media for the first time.

China dispatched J-11 fighters, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and ground forces including surface-to-air missile and radar troops, while Pakistan has sent JF-17 Thunder fighter jets and early warning aircraft to join the exercise.

“Shaheen-VI”, is the sixth in the series of joint air exercises between air forces of Pakistan and China, which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis. China’s Air Force contingent participated in “Shaheen-V” which was conducted in Pakistan last year.

The “Shaheen” joint training was launched in March 2011.

The PAF contingent, comprising combat pilots, air defense controllers and technical ground crew is participating in an exercise “Shaheen-VI,” between Chinese and Pakistani air forces.

During the exercise, the contingents from both sides demonstrated mutual trust by sitting in the same fighters.

In the ongoing joint drills, air force personnel cooperated in planning and implementing strategies, as well as learning operational concepts and tactics from each other.

The previous drills only provided experience of sitting in the same fighter instead of co-operating in fighting.

JF-17 Thunder, Mirage, F-7PG and ZDK aircraft from PAF along with PLA Air Force J-8, J-11, JH-7 and KJ-200 AWACS aircraft and ground forces including surface-to-air missile and radar troops are taking part in the exercise, which commenced at Korla Air Base in China on September 7.