Pakistan has added Chinese-built J-10C fighter jets to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet to bolster the country’s combat capabilities.

The new batch of fighter jets was officially inducted in a ceremony at PAF Base Minhas Kamra in Punjab.

The ceremony was attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

At the event, Khan was quoted by Reuters as saying: “It is a big addition to our defence system.

“I am thankful to China on behalf of our nation for providing these jets in a record time of eight months.”

The J-10C is a medium-weight, all-weather jet that can be equipped with fourth-generation air-to-air missiles such as the short-range PL-10 and the beyond-visual-range PL-15.

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The jet can also feature a bigger active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar compared to the one installed in the JF-17 Block 3 jets, PTI reported.

The exact number of J-10C jets provided by China is immediately not clear.

However, the addition of the new jets will complement PAF’s existing fleet that includes JF-17 Thunder jets from China, French Mirages and F-16s among others.

In a statement, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said: “Induction of J-10C aircraft has further strengthened PAF as a formidable and potent force well capable of defending the aerial frontiers of our beloved country.

“With J-10C ‘Dragon’ Omni role fighter in its ranks, PAF retains the first shot BVR capability while maintaining a qualitative edge in the application of Air Power across all domains.”

In a separate development, India said that it accidentally fired a missile during routine maintenance. The missile landed in neighbouring Pakistan but did not cause any loss of life.

Pakistan’s foreign office, however, summoned India’s charge d’affaires to lodge a strong protest.