Tuesday, May 24, 2011

PHOTO: Taliban infiltrators destroy Pakistani Navy P-3s


(Click on thumbnails to view high resolution images)

A brazen attack by Pakistani Taliban militants on the Pakistani Navy's main airbase at Mehran near Karachi late in the evening of 22 May has resulted in two of Pakistan's newly delivered P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft being destroyed on the ground. The militants reported snuck into the base at night and reportedly launched RPGs at the Orions before engaging personnel at the base with small arms, leaving ten soldiers and at least three attackers dead. Another is believed to be buried under debris and two more are thought to have escaped.

The loss of two P-3Cs and possible damage to others will come as a major blow as the type is the mainstay of the Pakistan naval air arm. Under a 2006 contract with the US government's Foreign Military Sales framework, Pakistan purchased seven former US Navy P-3Cs. The aircraft were fully refurbished by Lockheed with upgraded mission equipment.

(AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

(AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

Via BBC, Flightglobal

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