Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Friday commissioned six J-10C multirole fighter aircraft to its fleet in a bid to address conventional imbalance amid the Indian military's modernisation.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while speaking at the induction ceremony at Minhas Air Base, Kamra, said: "An imbalance is being created in South Asia. This induction will address that security imbalance."
The aircrafts acquired from China were commissioned into the PAF's Squadron 15 — a tactical fighter squadron, Dawn reported.
The first batch of the newly acquired aircraft arrived in the country earlier this month. China delivered these jets within eight months of the signing of the deal.
Although details of the deal are not publicly known, it is speculated that Pakistan intends to buy at least 25 J-10C aircraft.
The PAF acquired the J-10C aircraft, the latest version of fourth-generation J-10 fighters, in response to Rafales bought by India from France.
Pakistan has always viewed with serious concern India's military modernisation, fearing that it could upset the delicate conventional balance in the region. It has specifically been cautioning Western countries against providing modern military hardware to India.
Following their induction, the PAF has become the first foreign air force to get these combat jets that were previously only in the use of China's People's Liberation Army Air Force.
The prime minister hailed the induction as a major upgrade in the PAF capability after 40 years since the commissioning of US-made F-16 jets in 1982.
Mr Khan claimed that the government was fixing the economy and there were already signs of improvement, including an increase in tax collection and exports.
He said that once the resources improved, his government would prioritise spending on poverty alleviation and strengthening defence capability.
Speaking on the occasion, PAF Chief Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Babar said: "We have never attempted to match numbers nor wish to be in any arms race. However, we continue to enhance our capability to ensure national security and regional stability."
Sharing features of the newly inducted aircraft, the air chief said: "J-10C has fully-integrated weapons, avionics and electronic warfare suite that makes it a potent combat system under the contemporary environment of non-contact warfare."
The aircraft, he said, was configured with the world's top-class weapons, including PL-15 air-to-air missile and a variety of stand-up precision munitions, ISR radars, net-centric and sensor fusion capabilities that enable it to detect engage and destroy targets at a long-range, both in air-to-air and air-to-surface domains.