Pakistan Air Force receives F-16 fighter jets from Jordan

Published: April 27, 2014
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Air Chief Marshall Tahir Rafique Butt and Ambassador of Jordan Nawaf Khalifa Saraireh in a group photo during the handing over ceremony of F-16 aircrafts at Musharaf Mir Air Base. PHOTO: ONLINE

Air Chief Marshall Tahir Rafique Butt and Ambassador of Jordan Nawaf Khalifa Saraireh in a group photo during the handing over ceremony of F-16 aircrafts at Musharaf Mir Air Base. PHOTO: ONLINE

SARGODHA: Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt said that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is fully prepared for an operation against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), reported Express News

The PAF chief was speaking at the PAF Base Mushaf in Sargodha where the force received its first batch of five F-16 fighter jets from Jordan.

The fighter jets are in good condition, the chief said in his address, adding that the air force is fully equipped to combat militants.

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Reader Comments (84)

  • unbelievable
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:42PM

    F-16 is a great plane – used or otherwise. Cost effective solution to Pakistan’s current military challenge. Sure beats spending Billions on expensive nukes/missiles that gather dust.

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  • sabi
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:43PM

    Another gift from friendly state? Oblige me.

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  • Nadir
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:44PM

    30 year old jets ki amad pai clapping.

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  • Usman Lakhani
    Apr 27, 2014 - 7:44PM

    Excellent news, it is important to narrow the gap between PAF and IAF…. espwith Mr Modi in power.

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  • Apr 27, 2014 - 7:59PM

    You don’t know F 16 Fighting Falcon then. Bro even if it’s 35 years old, if it is able to fly and is in good service, than is better than JF 17 Thunder.@Nadir:

    But I would still recommend to focus on indigenous development rather than importing fighter birds. We can think to upgrade the speed of JF 17’s production at KAMRA or maybe we can build another JF 17 development facility other than KAMRA if we have any export plans of this Sino-Pak Bird in the future.

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  • naeem khan
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:11PM

    another wastage of national money on purchase of old scrap when will we learn

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  • Ussama Yaqub
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:15PM

    Ever ask the question why Jordanian air force sold these planes to Pakistan? All major air forces of the world are now in the process of phasing out F-16. USAF has planned to phase out all F-16s by the year 2020.

    So there will be lots more of these planes coming our way in near future and hence there will be more opportunities to celebrate and shout “best in the world” slogans!

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  • careful reader
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:18PM

    the US approved this sale. soon jordan will be purchasing F35 lightning or f22 raptor.

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  • Char Latan
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:20PM

    Who says you can’t find great deals on Craig’s list?

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  • Ahsan
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:22PM

    @Abubakar
    The JF 17 Thunder is awful plane and has lot of problems. The F 16 is superb plane and flys very well.

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  • Abrar R
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:23PM

    Jordan has placed an order for a similar number of F16s with the same specs. Why did they sell these then?

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  • Apr 27, 2014 - 8:33PM

    A poor trade. F-16s are history. It’s better to go for JF-17 or try to opt raptors.

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  • Apr 27, 2014 - 8:36PM

    @Ahsan:
    At least we can maintain them by our own war industries. F-16s are not only old but cost more to maintain.

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  • unbelievable
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:38PM

    @Abrar R:

    Jordan has placed an order for a
    similar number of F16s with the same
    specs. Why did they sell these then?

    No conspiracy .. Jordan is better off financially than Pakistan and it can afford to keep it’s air force a bit more up to date. Seems to me it’s a win-win where Pakistan gets an economic solution that meets it’s current military challenges. Everyone can’t afford a new car — doesn’t mean the old one is bad.

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  • Irfan
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:40PM

    @Ahsan:
    Oh man. How do you manage to attain such ‘level 5’ classified information about these planes?

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  • just_someone
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:40PM

    @Ahsan:
    LOL at Indians pretending to be Pakistanis!
    JF 17 is an excellent plane for the price. It isnt a f22 but it is good enough for the needs to 95% of the world countries. It is a 4th gen plane and its price, no other plane can match the quality and abilities.

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  • SAL
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:42PM

    @Ahsan:
    Says who? JF17 is a good aircraft, now equipped with better avionics and engine, it has good performance record, that is the reason thirteen countries are interested in purchasing this make.
    Please rewrite your files janab a aali.

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  • SAL
    Apr 27, 2014 - 8:49PM

    @Ahsan:
    BTW, US pilots have given two thumbs up on JF17’s
    performance. Also, compare the price of both. There is a saying that the more sugar you put the more sweeter it will be. Now do your Maths.

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  • lolz
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:00PM

    @just_someone:
    good sarcasm. Jf17 stopped production because of inferior quality, its graded down version of chinese planes. its a chinese product, only think pakistan doing is assembling it under the control of china. initially some poor countries put some interest because of low price, but gave up because of inferior quality

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  • Jibran
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:12PM

    @SAL:
    Which thirteen countries are buying JF17? Somalia? South Sudan? Burma? How many of these planes have China inducted into its armed forces?

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  • Jibran
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:16PM

    We the “only Muslim nuclear power” and the “conqueror” of Soviet Union is living on the alms, junk, and trash of our Arab “brothers”.

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  • Baba Ji
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:16PM

    I didn’t know we have so many fighter pilots as ET blog commentators !!!

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  • Namaloom
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:35PM

    Jordan Is Known To Have Biggest Aircraft Junkyard. Zardari Was Also Trying To Buy ” Working Fighter Jets” From Same JunkYard During When BiBi Was Prime Minister. Keep On Sleeping My Country Men.Recommend

  • Stealth
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:41PM

    Combine a F-16 with a PAF pilot-and the match is lethal. It is the pilot which determines the superior capabilities of an aircraft, they are as good as F-22 with PAF pilot flying these machines.
    The ultimate combination of ‘man and machine’. Search what PAF pilot did to the Israel airforce in the arab war and in the Indo-Pak war of 1965. Remember M.M Alam?.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:43PM

    Can some closeted supporters of Musharraf around here care to enlighten us that despite having an economy which supposedly had an ooomphh in it and endless dollars poured in by Uncles Sam, why is our air force buying such relic of designed in the cold war? The only worthy acquisition by PAF during Musharraf era were those 18 Block 52 F-16 Cs which cannot leave Shahbaz Air Force Base. All those billions which came on the name of WOT and coalition support fund could have been spent to purchase at least 4 squadrons of the newest 4+ gen aircraft like the Eurofighter, Saab Gripen, SU-30, Dassault Rafale etc. etc.

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  • String theory.
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:48PM

    30 year old machine is very old and need to dis-mental

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  • syed
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:48PM

    I didnt know that having the best Fighter planes makes you better than others…

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  • unbelievable
    Apr 27, 2014 - 9:49PM

    @Jibran:

    We the “only Muslim nuclear power” and
    the “conqueror” of Soviet Union is
    living on the alms, junk, and trash of
    our Arab “brothers”.

    One of the great Pakistani myths is that you somehow went to war and defeated the Soviet Union. If so it’s a unique war where no Pakistani soldier ever fired a weapon at the enemy or suffered a wound. You supplied sanctuary to the Afghan fighters knowing the American’s would protect you from Soviet reprisal – that’s a far cry from conquering anyone.

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Apr 27, 2014 - 10:08PM

    Salala check post was under attack for two continuous hours and PAF / Armed forces couldn’t put a jet plane in air to retaliate. Honestly I can throw a paper plane higher than those F-16s an JF-17s can fly in an event of external action.

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  • imran
    Apr 27, 2014 - 10:53PM

    A poor nation feeding its Army as usual, and an almighty army killng its own civilians.

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  • hmm
    Apr 27, 2014 - 10:56PM

    Bemused by some of the comments, specially by the ones who are trying to impersonate as Pakistanis. I guess air forces around the globe should hire you guys since you know everything. P.S Since day one of our independance, IAF always had an upper hand in terms of aircrafts, but PAF proved to be mightier, why? Because we had better quality of pilots & well maintained aircrafts unlike IAF which believed in quantity rather than quality. You need brains to fly these aircrafts no matter how advanced they are. sleep well trolls :)

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 27, 2014 - 11:06PM

    @Jameel ur Rasheed:

    Please bro, it was the air defense radars manned by PAF which according to the Chief Rao Qamar Sulaiman weren’t really powered up to speed because PAF never paid any mind to an armed intrusion from the western borders and all its energies were focused on the Eastern side.

    These are some of the legendary officers who have brought nothing but ridicule and humiliation not only to Pakistanis but men and men wearing the uniform.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 27, 2014 - 11:11PM

    @SAL:

    Lollzzz bro, are you a Sales and Marketing rep trying to pitch JF-17 to potential customers :D

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  • Kayyum
    Apr 27, 2014 - 11:33PM

    Till now I always used to believe only cars and bikes can be sold to third owners. Now even 35yr old fighter jets are gonna be deployed in front of Sukhoi 30 MKIs.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 28, 2014 - 12:26AM

    The F-16 was OK 30 years ago, is multi-role but not really designed for ground attack, and is definitely no competition for the Russian SU-35, which India has. Probably better than the F-22 and F-35 which apparently have insurmountable problems. The F-16 may be able to handle the TTP, but if the last 13 years in Afghanistan is any guide perhaps not.

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  • Apr 28, 2014 - 12:54AM

    @Ahsan:
    But you should not call it a flop plane or awful plane. It is a wonderful plane for a country like Pakistan who could not afford buying 100-200 F-16s or other planes to keep itself updated. JF 17 Thunder was the only solution at that time and We should feel proud that it was completed in record time. I would prefer JF 17 Thunder over Indian HAL Tejas because HAL Tejas has been badly criticized by Indian Air Force chives itself. There’s no international interest of any armed force in buying HAL Tejas while JF 17 has targetted middle east as well as some African countries, or I would say TOUCHED these nations. Insha Allah soon it will be exported.

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  • Parvez
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:11AM

    Wow !………reading news like this prompts a thinking process that says someone has landed up with a million dollar propert somewhere and his lovely children will write bolgs on corruption being evil……….I know its wrong but its difficult not to think so.

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  • stevenson
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:23AM

    @naeem khan: I would hardly call the F 16 old crap but I would say it is a great deal for Pakistan. Compared to India, Pakistan spends little on weapons but the nation is more than a match for India. The JF 17 gives some depth to Pakistan’s numbers but Pakistan cannot afford to waste billions on arms like neighboring India which is the world’s biggest purchaser of arms despite having so much poverty. Let all the Indians here under phoney names comment all they want; It only reveals their insecurity and fears.

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  • observer
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:24AM

    @sabi:

    “`Another gift from friendly state? Oblige me.”

    The money to pay Jordan for these fighter jets and any upgrade kits apparently come from the $1.5B “development funds” that Saudi Arabia recently donated to Pakistan. Just as in the past, every time that Pakistan got free aid money, it has promptly used the funds to buy western military equipment. The same thing happened with the foreign aid money donated to help the 2005 earthquake victims.

    But, the more important observation coming out of this F16 purchase is that Pakistan has tacitly admitted the failure of the much-touted JF-17 program.

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  • antanu
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:26AM

    @Ahsan:
    really. ..and why JF17 is an awful fighter plane…Please enlighten us.

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  • Muhammad Farooq
    Apr 28, 2014 - 2:14AM

    @Irfan:
    google search not wikileaks

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  • Assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 5:39AM

    @naeem khan:
    Perhaps we should have you talk down the Indian Air Force threat to Pakistan. I am sure you will sweet talk the Indians into submission since you have such a problem with Pakistan bulking up her air defence.

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  • Assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 5:51AM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    Since you are the avowed Musharraf hater on these boards and have absolutely no clue about how air power is developed, let me enlighten you.

    The F-16s bought during Musharraf era included 28 older F-16s and 18 new block D aircraft. All of these aircraft and the remainder of the PAF’s older inventory were brought up to same standards through Mid life Upgrade (MLU) and now with the addition of the Jordanian F-16s which are also MLU’d aircraft, PAF has a front line fleet of 78 F-16s which provide 3 dedicated day/night sqns of Multirole aircraft to the PAF aside from the two squadrons of JF-17s which are in service. With these 5 sqns, we have a dedicated fleet of over 130 aircraft that are 4.5 generation aircraft in terms of avionics and all boast a very capable Beyond Visual Range (BVR) attack and precision attack capability. It was the foresight of the PAF command under ACM Mushaf Mir and Musharraf governments support that allowed the PAF to boast a very significant denial capability.

    As to your clueless statement about money spent on F-16s could have been better spent on other “newest 4+ gen aircraft like the Eurofighter, Saab Gripen, SU-30, Dassault Rafale etc. ” you need to realize that PAF had an infrastructure set up to support F-16s. That is why it made more sense to add new generation F-16s (block Ds and MLUs) to the PAF fleet. Also in terms of price the F-16s made the most sense. You can ask the Indians what the price per aircraft of the Rafale is. Swedes and Russians refused to sell to Pakistan. Eurofighter was close to $80M per aircraft compared to $40M/aircraft that PAF had to pay for the blk 52s. All of this is documented in the official PAF history. One only needs to look it up instead of making inaccurate statements.

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  • Assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 6:02AM

    @Ussama Yaqub:
    As long as these F-16s can negate the threat from the IAF, which they very well can with the precision attack and Beyond Visual Attack capability they have, all of what you state does not matter.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 28, 2014 - 9:03AM

    @observer:
    I have not heard anything bad about the JF-17, but have found everywhere that military personnel will spend taxpayer dollars given half a chance. Virtually every Western country is having severe economic budgetary problems, but I have not noticed them reducing their military budget. From the comments coming in it appears that rednecks here and elsewhere actually approve continual and ongoing war agendas. Who cares about health, education and infrastructure? In regard to the F-16, and costs, it is my understanding that they require 30 hours maintenance, and 2.2 million rupees for every hours flying time,

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  • Apr 28, 2014 - 9:53AM

    @sharjeel: The cost of a Raptor (F-22) is more than USD 100 million. Jordan and Pakistan must have agreed to a mutually affordable price for these F-16s. Rebuild the aircraft and upgrade the avionics and you have a spanking new super fighter. Salams

    Follow this link: http://www.wired.com/2011/12/f-22-real-cost/

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  • Usman
    Apr 28, 2014 - 10:32AM

    To all the haters, first learn to elect better leaders, who don’t do corruption on the scale of one F-16 squadrons’ worth ($1.5 Billion dollars) in the space of a few months. I’m talking of Raja Pervez Ashraf. You elected a govt. that’s not willing to recover this money, aka PMLN, so don’t lecture the airforce when it had to buy old planes.

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  • ahmer
    Apr 28, 2014 - 11:42AM

    @antanu:
    If JF 17 is such a great plane, why are they buying 30 year old planes instead of the JF17

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:37PM

    @Assad:

    Since you are portraying to be our resident Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, please tell us as to how air assets are developed and deployed. Going by your logic, a pumped up Suzuki FX with an 800CC turbocharged engine can go head to head against a Formula F1 racing car. If that had been the case, why even bother spending the kind of money already spent on these F-16s and instead give MLU to F-86 Sabre and F-6 and save the precious funds?

    Out of those 78 F-16s, 18 of the Block 52s cannot leave Shahbaz Air Force Base and hence are of no operational use against India. They are only good for PR purpose and to adorn the annual PAF calendar. As for the BVR ability, again the AIM-120 AMRAAMs are provided only for mating with the Block 52s which again cannot leave Jacobabad’s airspace nor these missiles are allowed to be wired to the MLU Block 15.

    It wasn’t about the foresight of Musharraf but rather the heavy commissions our military men end up making by buying such old junk. The same was the case with ROSE upgraded Mirage III & V. If we consider your argument about F-16 being the only viable choice for PAF since it has a proven and long established infrastructure to cater to this type, then RAF would still be flying the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane – the Americans would still feel proud of F-4 Phantom over F-22 Raptor – the Frenchies would still be marvelling at their Mirage series and would not have invested billions on Mirage 2000 and Rafale and the MIG-21 would still be the front line asset of the Russian Air force.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:38PM

    @ahmer:

    The only greatness attached to JF-17 is that its a near home grown product which wouldn’t be subjected to any sort of sanction.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 28, 2014 - 1:54PM

    @Stealth:

    If combining skills of a PAF pilot with that of an aircraft is concerned, then why just the F-16? We ought to be still flying the F-104, F-6 and F-86 and live under the illusion that our brilliant airmen would whop the backsides of SU-30 and Rafales.

    50 years ago, your argument would have held some merit because the 1 generation aircraft produced by Americans and Soviets were pretty similar in combat abilities and it boiled down to competence of pilots who flew them. That is the reason that the Israelis aced some historical air battles against the Arabs.

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  • assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 6:04PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:

    The only greatness attached to JF-17 is that its a near home grown product which wouldn’t be subjected to any sort of sanction.

    A huge achievement for a sanction prone country like Pakistan. Lets not discount what the JF-17 offers to Pakistan.

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  • Candid1
    Apr 28, 2014 - 6:29PM

    Even if these F-16s were the most advanced fighter jests in the world, their numbers are too few to impact the dangerous military imbalance faced by Pakistan. Pakistan needs a 600 jets air force in order to secure air superiority in case of war, but of course the cost of maintaining such a large fleet is beyond Pakistan’s resources, so the PAF has no choice but to focus on quality of equipment and training. JF-17 is a good start, but the goal of securing Pakistan’s air space is still a long way off, and requires sustained development and absorption of the requisite technologies.

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  • assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 6:41PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    Silly smart aleck comments aside, you clearly know very little about what you write here.

    All Air forces consider periodic upgrades to their assets which cost millions and on average are held on inventory for 30 – 40 years. Such is the case with the PAF’s F-16s. Getting the MLU is not as you suggest with your comparison to some Suzuki with F-1 racing cars. The F-16 was a 3rd generation aircraft. The newer version of the MLU allows the F-16 to have 4.5 generation capabilities in terms of new radar, avionics and weapon systems which are easiest the most important considerations for any combat aircraft. In one fell swoop, PAF has added approximately 80 aircraft with avionics and weapons which can easily match up against the best IAF has and will have (even when they induct the Rafale).

    Out of those 78 F-16s, 18 of the Block 52s cannot leave Shahbaz Air Force Base and hence are of no operational use against India.

    Just think about the statements you make and then get them published. So the block 52s are just to be parked at Shahbaz AB and cannot leave its premises? Is this your understanding? The Block 52s were contractually segregated from air bases where Chinese manufactured aircraft and support staff may reside. The meaning being that the Americans did not want these aircraft coming in contact with the Chinese. Thus the Shahbaz AB was constructed to NATO standards and may not host JF-17s and or F-7s. However the Block 52s regularly fly out of Shahbaz and have a range with their conformal fuel tanks that allows them to maintain presence over any part of Pakistan as and when needed. So this silly claim of not being of use against India is something that you have conjured up all by yourself. There is no truth behind it. PAF will use these aircraft as and when necessary.

    Your claim on the AIM-120s is also wrong. All, again I repeat ALL, PAF F-16s with MLU are fully capable of engaging targets with AIM-120. This means that PAF has 78 fully BVR capable F-16s in service.

    It wasn’t about the foresight of Musharraf but rather the heavy commissions our military men end up making by buying such old junk. The same was the case with ROSE upgraded Mirage III & V.

    This is the way Pakistani mentality goes. Throw something that will stick so you go with the commission story. ROSE by far was the most cost effective and transparent deal to give PAF a real decent precision/night attack and BVR capability to the Mirage fleet. Pakistan was under sanctions and in the entire decade of 90s, no new capability was acquired except upgradation of these Mirages. It allowed the structural life of these aircraft to be increased with new avionics. The best that could be done given the circumstances. There was no money available for new Russian, Swedish or French aircraft so none of those were possible.

    Lastly, you cannot compare PAF’s older F-16s with the idea of Russians continuing to fly old Mig-21s with upgrades or the USAF flying F-4s instead of F-22s. F-16 remains a very potent and agile aircraft even in this day and age and in front line service with over 26 countries around the world. We are not facing the USAF with F-22s so what the F-16s can do is fine for our purposes. The F-16s can more than hold their own against all of what the IAF has including their Mig-29s, Mirage 2000s and Su-30MKIs and we get to have the F-16s at a fraction of the cost of what IAF is paying for their aircraft. For a change, look at the positives and have some pride. Its not all bad.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 28, 2014 - 6:48PM

    @assad:
    Dear assad,
    I totally agree with you. The JF-17 will do the job beautifully. In regard to the F-16, it may or may not be a good machine, but we will never know. Just of hand I cannot think of one air force, in the last 30 years, which has used the F-16 against anybody other than a third world country which had little or no defense

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  • Lalit
    Apr 28, 2014 - 7:20PM

    @Stealth
    **Combine a F-16 with a PAF pilot-and the match is lethal.**
    correction…combine a F-16 with a PAF pilot and the match is Abottabad..Recommend

  • assad
    Apr 28, 2014 - 7:28PM

    @Sexton Blake:
    Well I hope we never have to use them in anger and if this turns out to be the case then the F-16s have done their job. Hopefully these F-16s and JF-17s will pose a deterrence to the IAF and their aircraft to us and we will not get into a shooting war. This perhaps is the best outcome to be had. However we’d rather have the F-16s on hand to ensure a war does not happen rather than finding ourselves in a war without such potent combat aircraft.

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  • Apr 28, 2014 - 9:13PM

    could this be the reason why ttp was created, i remember how difficult it was for pakistan to get F16s even after paying them during the last century

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  • Stealth
    Apr 28, 2014 - 9:37PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    I think you just went overboard. As Assad has suggested more than 26 air forces are still using the F-16 as their main combatant aircraft, notwithstanding the fact that the machine is about 30 year old. Also as rightly pointed by assad constant up-gradation and improvement are important factors in the Airforce SOP’s, especially with PAF.
    We are not an oil rich Nation like Saudia or a First world country who can sent them packing as Junk and Obsolete. The mirage rebuild factory at Kamra is also doing the same, refurbishing and rebuilding the aircraft. After a complete overhaul and reconditioning the life of an aircraft can be increased by say 20-25 years.

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  • Grace
    Apr 29, 2014 - 12:08AM

    @Lalit: I think you know better but if you need a reminder, just ask international experts how they would rate the PAF to the larger IAF. Whether F 16 pr JF 17, the PAF is more than a match for the much larger Indian Air Force. That is why there are so many Indians here trying to desperately put down the PAF!

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  • MT
    Apr 29, 2014 - 2:25AM

    @Adnan Siddiqi: Why on earth would you be comparing RAF and USAF with PAF.
    UK and USA are first world rich countries and do not have money problems like third world Pakistan. They can easily change their infrastructure to match the requirements of the new fighter jets.

    Furthermore, US and UK develop and manufacture top class fighter jets on their own, therefore doesn’t cost them $80 or $40 millions a plane. GET IT?Recommend

  • observer
    Apr 29, 2014 - 7:51AM

    @ali:

    “could this be the reason why ttp was created, i remember how difficult it was for pakistan to get F16s even after paying them during the last century”

    Interesting point. I do remember Musharraf and his generals trying to justify to the US that they needed F-16’s, AWACs and advanced air to air missiles to fight the terrorists.

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  • Faheem
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:16AM

    @ahmer:
    It’s called diversification. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. How’s your lack of experience working out for you?

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  • Faheem
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:17AM

    @Kayyum:
    How do you know they will be deployed against Su-30MKI? Maybe against the flying coffins MiG-21s that India still flies.

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  • Mohsin
    Apr 29, 2014 - 10:23AM

    I just wonder how the anti-Pakistan comments get so many recommendations. Every time there is sarcasm or negative comment by anyone against Pakistan that get over 100 recommendations. Either tribune is read by non – patriotic Pakistanis or recommendations are given by tribune itself.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 29, 2014 - 11:40AM

    When countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia with even punier defence budget then ours can afford to buy a couple of squadrons each of MIG-29 and SU-30, so can we! But our air force continues to be stuck in its comfort zones of only operating the assets which it has been operating for 40 years just because it has the infrastructure to fly and maintain them.

    I am still unconvinced that even with the assets that the air force has, it would still have a hard time maintaining any credible air defence because more often than not – our air force forgets to turn on its radar to detect the bogies.

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  • Pakistani
    Apr 29, 2014 - 12:23PM

    @Mohsin:
    More Indians read it than Pakistanis. Simple; There are 1240 million Indians compared to 180 million Pakistanis.

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  • nadeem
    Apr 29, 2014 - 4:36PM

    @Mohsin:

    Either tribune is read by non – patriotic Pakistanis …..

    By non-patriotic you mean those who do not tow the official party line? Those who do not accept fauj and faujis as the owners and masters of Pakistan? Well, count me as non-patriotic then.

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  • Lalit
    Apr 29, 2014 - 5:31PM

    @Grace

    i didn't have the fortune to see IAF and PAF engaging each other in Dog-fights to judge their relative skills,but one doesn't need any authentication from anyone when the competence of PAF is open for all to see.any Air-force worth its name can shoot down an intruding drone.except ,for PAF.heck...you don't need an Air-force jet to bring down a drone.. PAF proved its mettle at Salala where the hapless Soldiers were being roasted for hours by NATO Gunships and '' Topguns'' were nowhere to be seen.the icing on the cake was the US SEAL operation on May 02,2011 which was carried out deep into Pakistani territory with Choppers for hours and PAF was once again conspicuous by their absence.you are lecturing me over the skills of PAF flyers who have honed their skills by carpet bombing their owCivilian areas.reportedly killing 30 to 40 militants in one single raid with nil civilian casualties.while PAF can't engage drones and choppers on one hand they feel no remorse in pounding their own civilians with vengeance, on the other.what is the logic behind maintaining an Air force when the sovereignty of your nation is being randomly violated and the guardians of sky are mum .
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  • Polpot
    Apr 29, 2014 - 5:54PM

    Junk from Jordan Junk from Afghanistan…
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Junk from China….truly emerging Junkistan.

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  • Mubashir
    Apr 29, 2014 - 7:48PM

    The US plans to decommission all of its 3200 F16 aircraft by 2017. These include the newer Block 52 planes, that wouldn’t require an early MLU (Mid Life Upgrade). Perhaps PAF should focus on acquiring a few of these newer aircraft. They shall be available at a Bargain price and shall include newer avionics and upgrades.. Just a thought..!

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  • Last Word
    Apr 29, 2014 - 8:25PM

    There is some interesting discussion between Adnan Siddiqqi and Assad but I tend to agree with Adnan who is more realistic and the latter being patriotic. Not-withstanding above, the observation that procurement of F-16’s would boost efforts in combating militancy in Pakistan is far-fetched and over-ambitious. The experiences of the past has amply proved that air-bombardment has very limited role in fighting counter-insurgency operations which results in more of collateral damage than eliminating the terrorists. The Vietnam war is a testimony to this statement as American conducted carpet bombing and even used chemical warfare but with little effect against determined rebels and lost the war. The same scenario happened in Afghanistan as aerial bombardment killed more civilians and Afghan President stepped in to stop the same and the Americans and NATO forces could not defeat Taliban despite air superiority. However, if coordinated ground operations are launched along with air-power, the militancy can be eliminated in Pakistan.

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  • Assad
    Apr 29, 2014 - 9:12PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    BD flies one squadron of Mig-29s. No economies of scale to be achieved with such small numbers. Malaysia has the funding and the political clearance from Russia to afford 48 or so Su-30MKMs. PAF tried to buy Su-27/30 versions but were denied.

    The F-16 is certainly a better multi-role aircraft than the Mig-29 which was built primarily for Air Superiority. So PAF gets more value out of the F-16 which can be used in precision/surface attack, air superiority, recce etc.

    The Pakistani F-16s are more than a match for most of the aircraft that you are harping on.

    To your last point, PAF does not have the funding/wherewithal to monitor airspace all over Pakistan. This is because of the challenges with deployment of radars and fiscal constraints in flying AEW aircraft round the clock. If you looked at this with perhaps a bit more pragmatism instead of childish expectations then you would realize that Pakistan Air Force with a limited budget is doing the best it can to defend against foreign aggression.

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  • unbelievable
    Apr 29, 2014 - 11:14PM

    @Sexton Blake:

    Just of hand I cannot think of one
    air force, in the last 30 years, which
    has used the F-16 against anybody
    other than a third world country which
    had little or no defense

    So 3’rd World means “defenseless”? I doubt Pakistan, India etc would agree to that. As I recall the first Gulf War Iraq had one of the largest/strongest militarys on the planet and the F-16 did an admirable job defeating Soviet fighters that were specifically designed to defeat the F-15 and F-16. Nobody who knows much about military aircraft bad mouths the F-16 – it’s a proven aircraft that is dependable. Equally important Pakistan will have no problem finding a willing buyer when it decides to upgrade to something more modern/expensive.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 30, 2014 - 2:42AM

    @unbelievable:
    Dear unbelievable,
    I don’t know why I bother with you because you always get things wrong. However, the F-16 is a 40 year old machine which is past its use by date. The Indian air force is equipped with SU-35’s and in a recent exercise with the US had a kill rate of 3 to 1. against F-15’s and F-22’s.

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  • Tera
    Apr 30, 2014 - 4:47AM

    I had no idea that there were so many avaition experts in Pakistan.

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  • Haroon
    Apr 30, 2014 - 5:06AM

    IAF flies canarded versions of the Su-30 known as the MKI. The MKIs performed ok but were beaten in ACM dogfighting by the F-16s. The current F-16s with their high offboresight air to ar missiles can defeat super manueverable aircraft if they can see them. The biggest thing working against the MKI is its large size. It shows up from miles to a pilot sitting in the F-16.

    F-22 did not fly against the MKI. Even if did, the MKI wont be able to see it on its radar.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Apr 30, 2014 - 2:21PM

    @Haroon:
    I only know what I read about aircraft and other military hardware. Apparently much US military hardware is unreliable, particularly F-22’s and F-35’S, with maintenance/running costs being prohibitively high, albeit with F-16’s being somewhat lower. Using obsolete or low functioning aircraft so far has not mattered because they have only been used against third world countries. We could argue forever as to who makes the best hardware, but until a head-on battle between two relatively equal countries takes place we will never know. In regard to an F-22 being invisible on radar to Russian aircraft I can only comment on the recent Black Sea disaster in which the US warship Donald Cook had to leave the area because all of its electronics were rendered immobile by the Russians. I think we have to accept that we have absolutely no idea what idiot politicians, scientists, and engineers are planning, or what is really happening, but it is rarely nice for the average person. I think we have to stop supporting the various sides as if F-16’s are in a Super-Bowl contest. At the end of the day these childish pieces of hardware have to be paid for and the only people benefiting are the Military/Industrial complex. It may have escaped the notice of many people that the standard-of-living is falling everywhere, particularly in the Western countries. Could this be due to the obscene amounts of money being spent on the military, and unnecessary never ending wars. Obviously, leaders cannot be expected to negotiate with those dreadful people on the other side can they? After all the other side pull babies out of incubators, carry out other dreadful atrocities, and this side is as pure as the driven snow. Unfortunately, leaders use this type of propaganda to justify their schemes, and many people fall for it..

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  • Salman
    Apr 30, 2014 - 4:38PM

    F-16 is like 97-98 Surf SSR who is old but stylish and compete well with latest 4x4s :))

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  • Asim
    May 1, 2014 - 12:09AM

    @Lalit:
    The issue is not the ability of the PAF to take on and shoot down UAVs. PAF shot down IAF’s UAV (IAI Searcher) quite easily and it was an F-16 that brought the UAV down. PAF has to get clearance from the GoP to take on the US, which obviously would not end too well for Pakistan thus a more pragmatic and diplomatic approach in dealing with the Americans is needed.

    So despite your inciting on the grounds of sovereignty, the Pakistani governments have been very pragmatic and thank goodness for that. The Americans apologized and the relations are back on an even keel.

    There are no radars deployed in Salala. The firefight was over before PAF could get involved, and again getting PAF involved would have resulted in a greater US reaction for which the Government was not ready. This is the reality of the situation and constraints that Pakistan faces. I guess not too similar to India talking up taking action against Pakistan through air strikes and special forces but in reality not being able to do much about it due to concerns about the Pakistani reaction and the constraints faced by India both diplomatically and militarily.

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  • Lalit
    May 1, 2014 - 3:53PM

    @Asim
    ” PAF has to get clearance from the GoP to take on the US”….
    firstly Air-force of every country has got mandate to engage those who commit the violation of one’s air territory,specially those who are considered to be hostile.even if the Radars were not operational,the message regarding Salala incident had reached via ground communication,to all those who were concerned in some way.but still mighty F-16s were not scrambled….how did you know that it NATO gunships and not some Indian Air force jet operating out of friendly Afghanistan.there are certain SOPs to be followed.do not camouflage your incompetence and cowardice with some non-existent bureaucratic exercise….. ..period.
    you are implying as if PAF is raring to go for a kill and its a meek Pakistani govt who is holding the virtual leash.Recommend

  • Sandip
    May 4, 2014 - 9:38PM

    @Grace: Nice dream. No wonder the reality tastes so sour for you guys that you have to run for cover under the conspiracy theories.

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  • Sexton Blake
    May 6, 2014 - 1:39AM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    If we leave India out of the equation the PAF could use WWII Tiger Moths to do the job. Certainly Spitfires or Mosquito fighter/bombers. I would like to take an even bet that Mosquitoes would put up a very good performance against Indian jets. Unfortunately, the corporate industrial/military complex will find many reasons why this would not be so. At the latest 25 year dollar count about 1800 billion reasons. If we take a look at the childish skirmishes America/EU/UK/Australia have been involved in over the last 30 years or so WWII equipment would have been more than satisfactory. Better still it would have to everybody’s advantage if there had been no wars, and that way many millions of dead and injured children would still be with us. Additionally, 1800 billion dollars would have paid for a lot of infrastructure. Unfortunately, it will not happen because the world is run by fools and sycophants who take their orders from above.

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  • Amir
    May 21, 2014 - 7:38PM

    Due to such a great interest by you all guys … we have decided to fly new F16’s little low so that you all can see them … and we have lowered J17’s price due to great indian interest

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