Pakistan is preparing to place an order for 18 additional F-16 block 52+ fighters, which would double its Fighting Falcon’s advanced variant fleet, Pakistan Military Consortium think tank Haris Khan has said.

The nation is in the final stages of exercising an option to buy the fighters under a contract awarded in 2006, according to Defence News.

The F-16A/B block 15 aircraft will be put under a planned upgrade to bring the aircraft to the block 40 standard through the Falcon structural augmentation roadmap (STAR) programme.

The aircraft are undergoing mid-life update (MLU) at Turkish Aerospace Industries in Turkey.

The upgraded aircraft will also be equipped with the ITT Systems AN/ALQ-211(v)9 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite (AIDEWS) electronic warfare pod under US foreign military sale programme.