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Pakistan signs its largest ever fighter jet sale Agreement with Azerbaijan

Pakistan and Azerbaijan have recently solidified their defense ties through the signing of their largest export deal to date, according to the reports. The agreement, facilitated by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) with the Azerbaijan Air Force, entails the purchase of JF-17C Block-III fighter jets valued at $1.6 billion.

Established in 1971, the PAC comprises four co-located factories tasked with maintaining all operational assets of the Pakistan Air Force, ensuring control and efficiency. Its comprehensive engineering capabilities encompass aircraft structure overhaul, component overhaul, engine overhaul, and radar/avionics maintenance.

Recognizing the significant foreign exchange expenditures incurred from aircraft overhauls abroad, Pakistan initiated the F6 Rebuild Factory, now known as the Aircraft Rebuild Factory (ARF), located in Kamra. The PAC has engaged in collaborations with companies from Turkey and China and expanded its operations to countries such as Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The strengthening of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan extends beyond defense cooperation. Discussions between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev in June 2023 at Zugulba Palace emphasized enhancing cooperation in energy, trade, and aviation sectors, reflecting the longstanding ties between the two nations.

Furthermore, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Munir’s visit to Azerbaijan aimed to bolster military relations. Prime Minister Shehbaz’s initiatives include exempting users consuming up to 200 units per month from tariff hikes and securing spot LNG cargoes through a supply deal with Azerbaijan.

The leaders’ joint press statement highlighted agreements to introduce Azerbaijan airline flights between their capitals, expand military exercises, and explore cooperation in energy, investment, and education sectors. President Aliyev emphasized mutual interests in energy, defense, and education, underlining the importance of enhancing military capabilities amidst evolving circumstances.

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