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Australia gives two Military Aircrafts to PNG

 TWO PAC 750 aircraft given to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) will enhance defence aviation cooperation activities, says Australia assistant defence minister Matt Thistlethwaite.

He said activities that were underway included the recently announced Defence Air Pacific Programme.

The PAC 750 aircraft that were formally handed over yesterday to Air Transport Wing (ATW) cost A$8.58 million, (about K21 million).

Australia gives to Military Aircrafts to PNG  [Photo by Australian High Commission PNG]

“The new aircraft brings the PNGDF’s PAC 750 fleet to three following the Australia Defence Force’s support to remediate PNGDF’s first PAC 750 in 2021,” Thistlethwaite said.

“The PNGDF aircraft was selected because of its ability to take off and land on short and varied airfields, which is highly valued in PNG’s diverse terrain and geography.”

Thistlethwaite said Australia through the Royal Australian Air Force, the Defence Cooperation programme and the Flights of Excellence programme would continue to work closely with the PNGDF on aviation safety, maintenance and sustainment throughout the operational life of the aircraft.

“The PNGDF has qualified four pilots on the aircrafts and PNGDF loadmasters and maintenance personnel have been integrated into PAC 750 activities,” he said.

Both countries have also continued to partner in support of PNG’s security infrastructure priorities, for which construction work is underway to refurbish PNGDF’s ATW at Jackson International Airport.

Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso said from a government’s perspective, they had neglected the ATW for a very long time.

“This is now the start of ensuring the ATW becomes the formidable force that it should become so that it will lay the part way for the growth of our PNGDF,” he said.

TheNational/Pacific News

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