By Akbar Mammadov
Following President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Rome, Azerbaijan and Italy have reached a military agreement over Baku’s purchase of the 5th generation warplane Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master from Italy.
A number of significant documents were also signed between countries during the visit that will strengthen the Azerbaijani Air Forces’ fleet.
Of special importance is the signing of the Declaration of Agreement over the purchase of an integration system for M-346 aircraft, Air Force Colonel Namig Islamzade said. Azerbaijan had presented the new generation M-346 warplane produced by an Italian multinational company Leonardo S.p.A, in May of 2017, the colonel said.
Islamzade said that this warplane is used as a transitional aircraft to modern multi-purpose aircraft 4++ and 5th generation. “Along with the replenishment of Azerbaijan's Air Force fleet, the aircraft of this type will expand their combat capabilities and will ensure Azerbaijan's superiority over Armenia in the airspace.”
Namig Islamzade also noted that the Azerbaijani Air Forces have been taking wide-ranging actions for a number of years. Especially, advancing social conditions in Air Forces’ personnel and revamping airbases should particularly be stressed.
“Currently, most of the aircraft at the disposal of the Azerbaijani Air Force is in accordance with modern standards," said the Air Force Colonel, adding that Azerbaijani Air Force have recently opted to acquire Italian and Pakistani warplanes for training purpose.
Azerbaijani Air Force and Pakistan’s PAC KAMRA company also agreed on the contract of purchasing 10 Super Mushshak MFI-395 combat aircraft in July of 2017.
The Air Forces are a special division of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Although formally established back in 1919, they started to form as a national military unit in 1992.
In 1997, the Azerbaijan High Military Pilot School graduated its first class of military pilots.
Today the Air Forces and Air Defense Troops complete with the state-of-the-art aeroplanes and helicopters is fully capable of defending Azerbaijan's skies against any kind of assault.
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