US approves possible sale of F-16 equipment to Pakistan

Pakistan US F-16

Washington: The US Department of State on Wednesday approved a potential sale of F-16 aircraft sustainment and related equipment to Pakistan in a deal valued at up to $450 million, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan of F-16 Case for Sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the statement read.

However, the proposed sale does not include any new capabilities, weapons, or munitions.

It said that the Government of Pakistan requested to consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases “to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements”.

Included are US Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics services for follow-on support of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet to include:

  • Participation in F-16 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program
  • Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program
  • International Engine Management Program
  • Engine Component Improvement Program, and other technical coordination groups
  • Aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications and support
  • Aircraft and engine spare repair/return parts
  • Accessories and support equipment
  • Classified and unclassified software and software support
  • Publications, manuals, and technical documentation
  • Precision measurement, calibration, lab equipment, and technical support services
  • Studies and surveys
  • Other related elements of aircraft maintenance and program support.

“The estimated total cost is $450 million,” the DSCA said.

The sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by allowing Pakistan “to retain interoperability with US and partner forces” in “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and in preparation for future contingency operations”.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Lockheed Martin Corporation will be the principal contractor.

“Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional US Government or contractor representatives to Pakistan. There will be no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale,” the statement further said.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Masood Khan, called it a positive development and thanked the State Department.

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