Pakistan’s Air Force has announced that one of its JF-17 fighter jets successfully test-fired a locally developed “smart” missile.
“The weapon has been developed, integrated and qualified solely through indigenous efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers. Successful trial has provided JF-17 Thunder a very potent and assured day and night capability to engage a variety of targets with pinpoint accuracy”, Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.
Pakistan Air Chief Mujahid Anwar Khan described the achievement as another milestone for the country, adding that if Islamabad is subjected to aggression, it would retaliate with full force.
In the meantime, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a third successful test of the multi-barrel guided weapon system Pinaka on 12 March at the Pokharan range in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.
A day before, the DRDO held a twin testing of the system, which can engage targets from a 20 to 90 km range.
“The weapon system impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies in all the missions. Telemetry Systems tracked and monitored the vehicle through the flight path. All the mission objectives have been met”, the Indian Defence Ministry stated.
The development comes on the heels of simmering tensions between Pakistan and India following an IAF air raid on a suspected terror camp in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. New Delhi’s airstrikes were provoked by a suicide bomb attack claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e Mohammad that killed some 40 Indian soldiers.
On the very next day of the raid, Pakistan announced the downing of two Indian warplanes over the Line of Control in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured an Indian pilot, who was released just two days later.
While the Indian side confirmed the loss of only one of its aircraft, it claimed that it had shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet, having showed parts of an AMRAAM medium-range missile that is alleged to have been fired by the US-made warplane.
The missile is said to have been recovered in Indian-administered Kashmir, although the Pakistani side has flatly denied deploying any F-16s for aerial combat or sustaining any losses.