US approves sale of F-16s to Pakistan

Published: February 13, 2016


WASHINGTON: The US government said on Friday it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal.

US lawmaker blocks sale of subsidised F-16s to Pakistan

The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are well-vetted before any formal notification.

India said it was disappointed with the US decision. “We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,” Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for India’s Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker notified the Obama administration that he would not approve using US funds to pay for the planes through the foreign military financing (FMF) program. That means Pakistan must fund the purchase itself, instead of relying on US funds to cover about 46 per cent of the cost.

US Congress ‘stalls’ sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

Given the funds it has available, Pakistan may be able to buy only four of the F-16 Block 52 models, and the associated radar and electronic warfare equipment, said one US source familiar with the situation.

Corker told Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter that he was concerned about Pakistan’s ties to the Haqqani network, a militant group that US officials have said is behind attacks in Afghanistan.

“I may reconsider my blanket hold on US FMF assistance should the Pakistanis make progress on addressing my significant concerns about their support for the Haqqani network, but for now, if they wish to purchase this military equipment, they will do so without a subsidy from the American taxpayer,” he wrote.

One US official said the administration was convinced that F-16s were the right platform to support Pakistan’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

Pakistan in talks with US to procure latest F-16 jets: PAF chief

“These operations reduce the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory as a safe haven for terrorism and a base of support for the insurgency in Afghanistan, which is in the national interests of both Pakistan and the United States, and in the interest of the region more broadly,” the official said.

Lockheed referred questions about the deal to the US government.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • k k khan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:08AM

    Good. keep relations with China, Russia and US balanced.
    Well playedRecommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 10:22AM

    America will load the Muslim countries with weapons. India on one side and Israel on the other. Anyway, we Pakistanis are caught between ‘the devil and the deep blue sea.” And to top it…we have the muk muka between PMLN-PPP. Salams Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:24AM

    Thank you US.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:37AM

    So the Pakistani air force knows the truth behind the iron brother’s Mig 21 knockoff though its fooling the gullible Pakistani public.Recommend

  • Pukhtoon
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:40AM

    Great news. There has been intense campaigning from India against materialization of the deal. Yet this is another success of the civil-military duo in Pakistan (with a sincere opposition keeping a check on things).
    USA never left Pakistan. Russia is coming closer by the day. And China we need to say nothing more about. Thanks Mr Modi and Co for binding us Pakistanis further together through your hateful approach.Recommend

  • Point
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:49AM

    There is one reason why india is crying. They have lost wars in the past and while they created a drama among its people in indian books they are scared of future wars where reality could be revealed in seconds. With Pakistan having increased training and getting more equipment, india fears a lot on how they will hide shame in future. Else they are simply whining like their useless PMRecommend

  • asad rizvi
    Feb 13, 2016 - 11:12AM

    @ajeet = We know the real cause of worry, which is understandable. Because it reminds India of legendary MM Alam’s World record of shooting down 5 of its aircraft in less than 60-seconds and that too by piloting F-86 Sabre Jet.
    We are proud of Pakistan Air Force, which still holds the world record and is the best.
    So please stay away and do not bully with us. Recommend

  • Prada
    Feb 13, 2016 - 11:15AM

    India’s rejection of F18 Hornets in favor of Rafale will have consequences.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 13, 2016 - 11:29AM

    Is that why the Indian Air Chief was interested in buying 2 of them at the Paris airshow ?Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Feb 13, 2016 - 11:37AM

    “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” as they say. A little less hubris will serve Pakistan well. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Feb 13, 2016 - 1:53PM

    Notification by US State Dept was done as per law but is it approved by US Congress or yet to get approval and what if they don’t approve any other options???Recommend

  • Vectra
    Feb 13, 2016 - 1:57PM

    “India’s rejection of F18 Hornets in favor of Rafale will have consequences.”

    Hmm Lets see! but story tells otherwise
    India to buy Northrop Grumman 4 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye for IAC-II INS VishalRecommend

  • shafi
    Feb 13, 2016 - 2:10PM

    no need to buy F16, our olicy makers r stuck to usa despite of the fact that usa is unreliable partner, like in past ,tomarrow they will block the export of spare parts in conflict with india, F16 will be grounded, we must go to SU 30, 35 and j31 the 5th generation aircraftRecommend

  • Shakti Oberoi
    Feb 13, 2016 - 2:44PM

    Obama will have to veto Congress. It is never going to happen. Until then, Pakistan can have their short-lived celebration.Recommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 4:07PM

    Endian govt tried his best to stop this deal, , Its a great success,, Pakistan Russia SU 35s deal is also about to done. HahahaRecommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 4:07PM

    India wants to get PAK-FA from Russia,, also they are trying to destroy our talks with Russia for SU35 and MI35,, Russia can not stay with india for long time because india has become the puppet of US,Recommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 13, 2016 - 5:29PM

    @asad rizvi:
    Islamic propaganda always amazes me. It was all a lie.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 13, 2016 - 5:37PM

    WE have nearly a billion dollars to spend on military but still need to take out loans and whatnot for developmental projects. I cannot believe this.Recommend

  • Sajida Hussain
    Feb 13, 2016 - 7:37PM

    These 8 F-16s in the hands of PAF pilots are deadly weapons the Indians know itRecommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 7:40PM

    You have your indigenous j 17 blunder
    Then why F 16. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Feb 13, 2016 - 7:46PM

    @Salman Mansoor:
    India is a master chess player man,beware.Recommend

  • Ahad
    Feb 13, 2016 - 7:57PM

    India needs to get out of this insecure zone. I am no Military expert, but do you think we will give the F-16 off to the Mujahideen to fight against India? F-16 can never be used for covert operation.

    If you’re just Jelly then that is another scenario Mr.Vikas. Recommend

  • Jovan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:33PM

    Mm alam story is a cooked up one , without facts only unsupported gibberish. You only find it on propaganda spreading paki websites or on sources edited by pakistanis. The claims have refuted and disapproved in neutral platforms with facts and evidence , that he didn’t shot 5 in 30sec.Recommend

  • Jovan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:55PM

    Worry about your terrorists killing your students , also stop the shameless act of sending terrorists through backdoors. If you think jets solve your sheer failures , then good luck.Recommend

  • bogus
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:59PM

    @Salman Mansoor

    Russia can not stay with india for
    long time because india has become the
    puppet of US,

    Nonsense – Russia is borderline bankrupt an can’t afford to be selective on who buys their weapons. USA is too wealthy/powerful to care whether either India or Pakistan complains about it’s weapon sales.Recommend

  • Vinod Chauhan
    Feb 14, 2016 - 1:07AM

    Indian Hindu cowards are always crying. they lost so many wars to Islamic invaders. Pakistan should go for all out attack strike while iron is hot.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Feb 14, 2016 - 5:14AM

    And then the Indians wonder why majority of Pakistanis consider them their enemy No.1. I did not see or hear any other neighbor of Pakistan opposing this sale. They should also know that because of their hate toward Pakistan, Pakistanis were pushed to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. India will have to think thousand time to attack Pakistan again, I say to them that 1971 will never ever happen again to Pakistan. mark my words for it.Recommend

  • Tore
    Feb 14, 2016 - 5:19AM

    USA must provide weapons on maximum discount price else Pakistans capacity to fight millitants on Afghan border will be reduced.

    I dont understand yelling and crying from endian side. They have a big air force with state of the art fighter air crafts. Why si afraid og only 8 planes.

    Even Pakistanies arent that afraid of so much modern weapons going to endia .

    After all its the man behind the weapon & his will and curage to fight wgich count and that Pakistani people have alot of.Recommend

  • curious2
    Feb 14, 2016 - 5:33AM

    @Shakti Oberoi:

    Obama will have to veto Congress. It
    is never going to happen. Until then,
    Pakistan can have their short-lived

    Incorrect. The Congressional objection was to a subsidized sale of F-16’s – they didn’t want American taxpayers to help subsidize sales to country that allegedly is helping the Haqqani. These sales are at full price so essentially the price has doubled and Pakistan only has the money to buy half the planes.Recommend

  • spectra
    Feb 14, 2016 - 7:16AM

    @Shakti Oberoi:
    Butthurt? Obviously we will hopefully by the grace of the almighty rejoice once again upon the delivery of these war birds, stop being but hurt quite oftenRecommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 14, 2016 - 7:19AM

    I wish our failed flying coffin LCA which has taken billions of dollars of tax payers money will also come at par with Jf-17, but it seems unlikely given that most of the part of LCA are imported from abroad. Recommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 14, 2016 - 7:21AM

    JF-17 is a reality, stop being butt heart have a little shame. P.s F-16 Blk 52 a new feather in pakistan`s arsenal at the costo of millions of indian dollars lost to lobbying Recommend

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