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Monday, March 5, 2018

Pakistan Puts AW-139s Into Service

Pakistan has formally inducted new AW-139 helicopters into its Air Force.

On Sunday, Pakistani media reported that the new AW-139s had been inducted into the Air Force's No. 88 Search and Rescue squadron, in a ceremony attended by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

The Express Tribune reported, "With the induction of this helicopter on its inventory, this Search and Rescue squadron has been renamed as No 88 Combat Support Squadron and Advanced Helicopter Training School."

Air Chief Aman noted, "The AW-139 helicopters would considerably enhance the operational capabilities of this squadron and would serve as a conversion unit or the young pilots to train them on this system."

Pakistan ordered a number of AW-139s in a contract announced in May 2016, followed by another order in February 2017. Deliveries under the first contract were slated to begin in 2017.

Quwa Defence News & Analysis Group reported that Islamabad may well seek follow-up orders for the AW-139 in the future.

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