WASHINGTON, The United States will hand over two upgraded P-3C Orion reconnaissance aircraft to Pakistan on Friday to help boost maritime security capability of the key member of the multinational task force.Pakistan will receive the surveillance maritime aircraft in Jacksonville, Florida, at a ceremony, to be attended by Vice Admiral.Shahid Iqbal HI (M), chief of staff Pakistan Navy, Islamabad’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani and senior US Naval officers.
Being a critical anti-terrorism partner of the international community, Pakistan is currently commanding the Combined Task Force 150, having already fulfilled the responsibility three times.
The area of responsibility of the CTF-150, which operates under the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan, stretches from Strait of Hormuz to Red Sea, covering 2.4 million sq miles and bordering 14 nations along the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Horn of Africa and Red Sea.
Pakistan is due to get in phases a total of 7 P-3 C Orion aircraft that are being upgraded by global security company Lockheed Martin.
According to a spokesman of the Pakistani embassy in Washington,the acquisition of the aircraft reflects growing cooperation between the US and Pakistani navies, that have been cooperating closely in stemming illegal activities at sea.
Recently, Pakistan’s Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir also visited Washington and was decorated with the prestigious US Legion of the Merit award. As major non-NATO ally of the United States, Pakistan will also acquire USS McInerney frigate later this summer under foreign military funding. The warship, to be known as PNS Alamgir, will be sailed to Pakistan early next year after its refurbishment in accordance with Pakistan Navy’s requirements.