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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Pakistan exports fighter-trainer planes
Mushshak
The original Mushshak is in use in eight countries
Pakistan has delivered five locally-built training aircraft to the Gulf state of Oman, completing the first export order for the military aircraft.

The value of the deal for the Super Mushshaks, which were built by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra, northwest of Islamabad, was not disclosed.


We would like to see more in cooperation with support of these light trainer aircraft

Brigadier Saeed Bin Hamood
Royal Oman Air Force
"Competing with European and American aircraft manufacturers and coming out with flying colours should be a matter of great pride for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex," Pakistan's secretary of defence production, retired Air Marshal Zahid Anees said in a statement.

The order, which was signed in December, is Pakistan's first major military export deal since 11 September and had to be approved by the US because the plane contains US parts.

"This is very significant for Pakistan because it has a green light from the US," Paul Beaver from Jane's told the BBC's World Business Report.

"This plane has an american engine, they are now able to export it."

Pakistan has previously exported arms to Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"We hope the relations between the two air forces will be stronger now," said Royal Oman Air Force Brigadier Saeed Bin Hamood on Pakistan television.

"We would like to see more in cooperation with support of these light trainer aircraft," he said.

Super trainer

The Super Mushshak, a single-piston engine aircraft with a seating capacity of up to three was launched in November 2000.

The plane is an improved version of the Mushshak which is currently being used by Oman, Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Pakistan.

It can be used as a trainer aircraft but also for other aerial and defence operations.

The PAC was set up in the 1970s to create a local production and servicing base for military aircraft and engines.

It has become the backbone of the Pakistan Air Force in maintaining and supporting its major weapons systems.

"It's important for PAC, it has a factory that is certified to international standards but its engineers need something to do," Mr Beaver said.

"Pakistan has ambitions originate its own aircraft."

PAC has also saved the country large sums of foreign exchange reserves because the work does not have to be carried out abroad.

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 ON THIS STORY
Paul Beaver, Jane's
"This is very significant for Pakistan because it has a green light from the US to export."
See also:

20 Feb 02 | Business
04 Jul 01 | South Asia
19 Mar 01 | Middle East
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