Pakistan on Monday joined the coveted list of countries manufacturing aircraft parts for the world's largest aircraft manufacturer - The Boeing Company.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz inaugurated the manufacturing facility at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), which is already manufacturing six types of aircraft, three types of engines, air defence and air-borne avionics systems and their components.
Prime Minister Aziz appreciated Boeings willingness to transfer technology to further cement business relations and help in building bridges between the East and West.
Boeing offered transfer of technology. Boeing Quality Management System Certification training and technical support to PAC, after evaluating all necessary infrastructure, expertise and internationally recognised Quality System at PAC.
It has received orders for manufacture of 476 parts by November 2006. Boeing is to purchase parts from the PAC till August 2010 under an agreement, which could be extended for another two years.
The PAC has also commissioned the hi tech CNC machines received for Boeing and continues to upgrade its manufacturing special processes - Heat and Surface Treatment and Non-Destructive testing facilities. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also inaugurated the C-130 aircraft propeller overhaul facility for the Hamilton Sunsdstran of Holland.
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Pakistan is also currently working on an ambitious joint production programme with China to replace its aging fleet of Chinese fighters, with a modern multi-role, all-weather, day-night aircraft. The PAC is supplying aircraft and services to several international companies, including the Rolls Royce USA, SAAB of Sweden, Sagem of France.
He said the companies should see the PAC as their extension. "We are not shy of performing, of delivering of being competitive and will supply you the quality products," he added.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also called for more joint ventures and more focus on marketing to leverage the full potential of the organisation. He said with reliability, quality and dependability as its hallmarks, the PAC would now be a partner of Boeing and join the list of its international vendors.
The Prime Minister referring to the overhauling of propellers for the C-130 aircraft, said it was a workhorse used by many air forces around the world. "We need to market our capabilities and need to go for joint ventures," he added.
Describing the PAC as a "Centre of Excellence" he appreciated its role in the rebuild, manufacturing and design of aircraft and said, "every Pakistani is proud of PAC...you have made us proud."
He said the JF-17 Thunder will be the frontline aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force in the next decade as it has the necessary punch, the avionics and the capability to defend the country's airspace.
The Prime Minister said the PAC would expand its manufacturing capabilities in electronics, avionics and production of aircraft.
SELF-RELIANCE: He said self-reliance for essential defence equipment was very important for Pakistan as it has seen many ups and downs in the past.
"The more self-reliant we are, the more we are prepared for future challenges," he said. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said steps were under way to further enhance exports of the Super Mashak aircraft and appreciated that they have earned the PAC a good repute, both by civil and military users.
Air Vice Marshal Aurangzeb Khan, Chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra, said: "The PAC has developed a sound technological base that can meet international military and civil aviation standards."
He said the PAC underwent an in-depth survey and fulfilled all pre-requisites for the award of contract from Boeing. Four PAC factories attained the highest quality certification in Aerospace manufacturing of AS-9100 Rev B standard and the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.
"The expertise attained has not only synergized our existing indigenization and JF-17 co-production programmes, but has also enhanced our ability to absorb such offset related opportunities in future," he added.
Vice-President of Boeing Ms Mary Monica said: "The PAC can now work as a team member of the company and can also compete for future works." She said the PAC would be a member of Boeing's global supply chain and can provide quality parts at competitive prices.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was accompanied by the Minister for Defence Rao Sikandar, Minister of State for Defence Habibullah Warraich, Minister for Defence Productions, Minister of State for Defence Zahid Hamid and Minister of State for Environment Amin Aslam Khan.
Earlier, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat received the Prime Minister at the Minhas Air Base. He was briefed about the working and expansion plans of the PAC Kamra by the Chairman of PAC Board Air Marshal Aurangzeb.
The premier also witnessed the agreement signing ceremony for the manufacture of parts for Boeing by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.