The rollout ceremony of  first of four Chinese ZDK-  03 airborne warning and  control systems  (AWACS) aircrafts for the  Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan has received its  second Erieye radar-  equipped Saab 2000, has  accepted its first Shaanxi  ZDK-03 airborne early warning and control system aircraft.Islamabad has four ZDK-03s on order, with deliveries due to start later this year, say air force sources. The type is a new variant of theShaanxi Y8 AEW&C aircraft designed specifically for Pakistan.

The Chinese aircraft is powered by four turboprop engines and has a greater range than offered by the Saab Microwave Systems Erieye, the sources say.

The air force recently received its second Saab 2000 surveillance aircraft, and anticipates that it will receive its remaining two in the second and third quarters of this year. Flight Global. Pakistan to get Chinese AEW&C aircraft this year By Leithen Francis

The rollout ceremony of first of four Chinese ZDK-03 airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircrafts for the Pakistan Air Force was held at Hanzhong in China today. The rollout coincided with

President Asif Ali Zardari‘s visit to China – his sixth since assuming the position in 2008.

PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was attended by the Commander of the PLA Air Force and other military and civil officials of China.

The PAF signed a contract in 2008 with China Electronics Technology Group Corporation for the joint development of four ZDK-03 AWACS aircraft configured to Pakistan’s specifications.

The ZDK-03 is an advanced AWACS with sophisticated integrated sensors and communications suite, PAF said in a statement.

In his speech at the rollout, Air Chief Marshal Suleman described the event as “another milestone in the exemplary history of cooperation between Pakistan and China”.

This AWACS will strengthen the PAF’s capabilities to maintain “peace with honour in the region”, he said.

The AWACS is part of PAF’s overall strategy of transforming itself into a “lean and technologically advanced air force”, Suleman said.

The PAF will not spare any effort to make the defence of the country impregnable, he added.