US Approves Potential Sale Of F-16 Equipment To Pakistan

The United States Department of Defense issued a statement saying that the Biden administration in the United States has given its approval for a potential sale of sustainment and related equipment for the upgrade of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter aircraft fleet in a deal that could be worth up to $450 million.

However, despite the fact that Pakistan’s Air Force has a larger number of JF-17s, the deal will not include “any new capabilities, weapons, or munitions” for the aircraft that serves as the primary fighter for the Pakistani Air Force.

In 2019, Pakistan had used the same aircraft to target India after the Balakot strike. They shot down then Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG 21 Bison with an American-supplied AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).

These missiles’ capabilities were superior to those of the medium-range R-77 and the MICA missiles that the Indian Air Force’s Mirages were equipped with at the time. Both of those missiles were used by the Su-30 MKI.

After Pakistan requested to consolidate previous F-16 sustainment and support cases in order to support the maintenance of the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 fleet, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Wednesday delivered the required certification notifying the US Congress of the possible sale. This came after Pakistan made the request.

The upgrade will include follow-on support for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, as well as engineering, technical, and logistics services provided by the United States government and private contractors. In addition to that, it encompasses repairs and returns of jets and engine spares, modifications and support of aircraft and engine hardware and software, as well as support for classified and unclassified software, and support for software, among other things.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States, according to a statement released by the Pentagon. According to the statement, these objectives will be supported because it will enable Pakistan to “retain interoperability with US and partner forces” in ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for potential future contingency operations.

In addition to this, it was stated that the proposed sale will continue the maintenance of the country’s F-16 fleet, which “greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability.


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