Pakistan Air Force (PAF) JF-17 Thunder, on the weekend, made its maiden appearance in any international air tattoo competition by appearing in Virtual Air Tattoo Show-2020 at Royal Air Force Base Fairford (UK).
According to details, PAF sent several short video clips of its 16th multirole fighter squadron named ‘Black Panthers’ comprising of PAF’s pride and indigenously manufactured JF-17 Thunder aircrafts.
Apart from PAF’s JF-17, No 21 Squadron aka ‘Burraqs’ comprising of C-130 transport aircrafts also participated in the event which was attended by several air forces from around the world.
The decision to hold virtual competition comes as officials and event organizers, pertaining to coronavirus pandemic, decided to postpone the gathering and opted for a virtual competition to ensure the safety and prevent any further virus spread.
It is to be noted that RIAT is the world’s largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
In 2019, RIAT hosted and showcased 245 aircrafts. The show also commemorated 70th anniversary of NATO and 100th anniversary of British Airways (BA), and featured flypasts including that from British Airways Boeing 747s, Red Arrows, Patrouille de France, F-16s, F-15s and C-130s from air forces of United States, UK, Turkey, France and others.