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Friday, April 19, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Pakistan signs $1.6 billion fighter jet sale deal with Azerbaijan: report

The 'largest ever' deal signed between Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Azerbaijan Air Force

Pakistan has signed its largest export deal ever with Azerbaijan, Azernews reported on Thursday, as the two countries take steps to boost their defence ties.

There was no immediate word from Pakistani authorities on the deal which is almost double the latest IMF loan tranche of $700 million for Pakistan.

The deal was signed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) with the Azerbaijan Air Force, according to the Azerbaijan website, which said it was quoting Pakistani media but did not name any publication.

It said the deal for JF-17C Block-III fighter jets was signed for $1.6 billion.

The PAC is an organization which comprises four co-located factories which take care of the maintenance of all operational assets of the Pakistan Air Force for control and efficient working.

The complex houses multi-faceted engineering capabilities which enable it to undertake aircraft structure overhaul, aircraft component overhaul, aircraft engine overhaul, radar/avionics maintenance and overhaul.

The PAC started operating in 1971 after seeing that the overhauling of aircraft abroad resulted in a huge amount of spending in terms of foreign exchange.

The country established an F6 Rebuild Factory now known as the Aircraft Rebuild Factory (ARF) at Kamra.

The institution has worked with companies from Turkiye and China to make some of their products. It also has businesses in other countries like Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, Pakistan and Azerbaijan agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and aviation sectors to reflect the decades-old strong relationship between the two nations.

The bilateral relations were discussed in a meeting between the-then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev at Zugulba Palace in June 2023.

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At a joint press stakeout following their bilateral meeting, the two leaders told the media that they agreed to introduce flights of Azerbaijan airline between the two capitals, and enhance several military exercises, besides exploring the avenues of cooperation in the areas of energy, investment, and education.

In his remarks, President Ilham Aliyev said both countries had agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of energy, defence, and education.

“The two sides have agreed to increase the number of military exercises as military capability is of utmost importance considering the changing circumstances,” the president had said.

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