ISLAMABAD - The induction ceremony of 5th ATR of Pakistan Navy was held at Naval Aviation Base PNS Mehran, Karachi, according to a press release received here Tuesday. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Naveed Ashraf was the chief guest. The newly-inducted ATR aircraft, acquired from PIA, is equipped with day and night flying capability to undertake ferry, logistics support, medical evacuation, general evacuation and training missions. Pakistan Navy is in the process of acquiring ATR aircrafts from various sources and is modernising them to carryout maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare missions at sea.
The press release said that being a commercial aircraft, it has very low operating cost as compared to tailor made military aircraft. This is the 5th aircraft which has been acquired for the purpose. Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff highlighted the importance of evolving geo-strategic environment in the Indian Ocean Region and emphasized the need to have a potent naval force in order to counter emerging challenges. He underlined the significance of strong maritime defence for Pakistan and reiterated that induction of modern aircraft will enhance Pakistan Navy’s capability of safeguarding our maritime frontiers.
Earlier during his welcome address, Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Muhammad Faisal Abbasi highlighted that induction of ATR will ensure sustained operations from western seaboard through regular logistics and personnel movements. Later, Chief of the Naval Staff handed over ATR documents to Commander Pakistan Fleet.