Pakistan plans to buy 10 more F-16s from US
16 March 2016, Nirapad News: Pakistan plans to purchase another 10 F-16 combat aircraft from the US after concluding a deal to buy eight of the jets as part of a plan to refurbish its fleet by 2020. A “decision in principle has been made to buy 10 more F-16s”, an unnamed senior Pakistani government official was quoted as saying by Jane’s defence magazine. The “exact timing to place an order is yet to be decided”, the official said. In February, the US state department approved the sale of eight F-16s – two single-seat F-16Cs and six twin-seat F-16Ds – along with associated equipment for nearly $700 million. The deal was opposed by some US lawmakers on the grounds that Pakistan is not doing enough to counter terrorism.
Last week, the US Senate rejected a move to block the proposed sale. On Saturday, the mandatory 30-day period for the US Congress to block an arms sale to a foreign country elapsed. Pakistani officials have said the new F-16s will enhance the country’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. But this has been rejected by India, which called in the US envoy to protest against the sale. The new F-16s are needed to replace ageing jets in the Pakistan Air Force, which plans to retire 190 aircraft by 2020, senior officials were quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.