Friday, March 24, 2023

    US approves possible sale of F-16 equipment to Pakistan as Trump’s decision reversed

    ISLAMABAD – The US has given a go-ahead for the sale of F-16 aircraft sustainment and related equipment to Pakistan in a deal worth $450 million.

    The announcement was made by the US State Department on its Twitter handle, approving the first major security assistance for Pakistan since 2018 when it was ended by former president Donald Trump.

    @StateDept authorizes a Foreign Military Sales #FMS case for #Pakistan for follow on effort and consolidation of prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet valued at up to $450 million,” the State Department wrote on Twitter.

    “Pakistan has 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,” the Security Cooperation Agency of the US Department of Defense said in its statement.

    “This proposed 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 statement read.

    The proposed sale will continue the sustainment of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, which greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability.

    “Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it said.

    Earlier this year, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bajwa said that Pakistan had historically excellent relations with US.

    “The good army we have today is largely built and trained by US. The best equipment we have is American equipment. We still have deep cooperation with US and our Western friends,” he said in a statement issued by ISPR on April 5, 2022.

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