US approves $699m sale of F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Pakistan
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $699.04m foreign military sale (FMS) of F-16 Block 52 aircraft and associated equipment, training, and logistics support to Pakistan.
Under the deal, the Government of Pakistan has requested major defence equipment (MDE) comprising of six F-16D Block 52 aircraft and two F-16C Block 52 aircraft with the F100-PW-229 increased performance engine besides 14 joint helmet mounted cueing systems (JHMCS).
Additionally, the contract will cover non-MDE items including eight AN/APG-68(V) 9 radars, and eight ALQ-211(V) 9 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suites (AIDEWS).
Additionally, the potential sale will include spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, the US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.
The proposed sale will improve the South-Asian nation's critical capability by helping to conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations, thereby contributing to US foreign policy and national security goals.
The new acquisition is expected to facilitate operations in all-weather, non-daylight environments, provide a self-defence / area suppression capability to the Pakistani Air Force (PAF).
Additionally, it will increase the number of aircraft available to the PAF to sustain operations, meet the training requirements, and support transition training for pilots wh are new to the Block-52 upgrade.
In January, Iraq requested a sale of F-16 weapons and munitions worth $1.95bn for the previously requested 36 F-16 fighter jets.
The request includes 20 joint helmet mounting cueing systems, 24 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, 150 AGM-65D Maverick missiles, 14,120 500lb general purpose bombs, 2,400 2,000lb general purpose bombs, over 8,000 laser-guided bomb (LGB) tail kits and 8,500 FMU-152 fuses.
Image: The latest acquisition will help Pakistan conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations. Photo: Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway / US Air Force.