Batch of six F-16s flying in today

Published: November 20, 2010
Latest version of the combat jets are due to land at Shahbaz Airbase.

Latest version of the combat jets are due to land at Shahbaz Airbase.


The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is to receive another batch of six F-16 combat jets today, reliable sources told The Express Tribune.

The latest version of F-16s is scheduled to land at Shahbaz Airbase near Jacobabad. The PAF had already received six F-16s this year.

Air Commodore Tariq Qamar Yazdani, director media affairs, confirmed the news of the arrival of F-16s but avoided giving the exact date.

Pakistan ordered 18 new C/D Block 52 versions of the F-16s from the US. An agreement to that effect was signed between the two countries in 2005-06 with officials saying the jet would enhance the air force’s defence capabilities.

The US delivered the first batch of Block 52 F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to Pakistan in June this year while the second batch was received last month.

The delivery of the remaining aircraft will be completed by December.

According to the sources, American air force engineers will accompany the delivery of the F-16s and supervise not only the airbase but also the operations to be carried out by PAF against Taliban and al Qaeda.

It is expected that the aircraft will be handed over to PAF by the US officials at a simple ceremony at Shahbaz Airbase. The F-16 Block 52 aircraft are equipped with a sophisticated avionics suite and the latest weapons with precision night attack capability, the PAF spokesperson said.

These aircraft are part of the PAF’s bid to modernise and enhance its air defence capabilities, officials said.

The PAF desires to maintain peace with honour in the region. However, if required it will use these aircraft along with all the capabilities at its disposal to defend Pakistan, the spokesperson said.

It is said officially that the current fleet of F-16 aircraft is being used in the fight against militancy in the country’s tribal belt.

Pakistan is paying $1.4 billion for the jets and an additional $1.3 billion for the upgrade of its existing fleet.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Klues
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:18PM

    Israel gets a squadron of F35 while Pakistan buys the F16s.

    Why this hypocrisy secular commentators?Recommend

  • Iqbal Khan
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:27PM

    Its not hypocrisy rather its a message ” Take it or leave it” !!! So build your own stuff Pakistanis otherwise remain a beggar with a bowl !!!!Recommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:33PM

    What does Pakistan wanna do by stacking up all those F-16s’!Recommend

  • Faysal
    Nov 19, 2010 - 8:50PM

    Will these be strategic assets for Pakistan?


    We be seeing them on road side as monuments, in parks with hirtory for our next generations !!!Recommend

  • faraz
    Nov 19, 2010 - 9:18PM

    These new F-16s will really help the flood victims.


    What has F-16s and F-35s to do with secularism or theocracy? Recommend

  • Moiz R.
    Nov 19, 2010 - 10:26PM

    Seems like a tremendous waste. USAF personnel are the only ones allowed to maintain the aircraft, so they probably have to be sent back for maintanance every other year. We practically can’t use them at all considering our needs, as the only long-term concievable enemy of Pakistan is India.
    And there are probably safegaurds against violating the conditions such as remotely disabling the planes(totally possible) or american engineers(the only ones who have training and are ever allowed access to the planes) simply refusing to maintain them.

    And we are buying them only for taliban and Al-qaeda? Groups with absolutely zero capability to shoot at air targets? I hardly think we need F-16s for that. Any plane flying a few thousand meters above ground would be untouchable as far as they’re concerned. Small arms and machine guns might as well be pea-shooters.Recommend

  • Umair Malik
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:03AM

    Keep them coming! The fighting Falcons and our Shaheens are a brilliant combination. Recommend

  • Babruk
    Nov 20, 2010 - 2:46AM

    we are dying of hunger of joblessness of poverty. we carry a begging bowl the world over. we cannot produce enough power to keep our fans and factories running. our educational institutions need a huge load of money. does this waste of money seem ridcuolous, insane and destructive only to me or are others also infuriated by this shopping of F*16. Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 20, 2010 - 3:09AM

    @Moiz: “We practically can’t use them at all considering our needs, as the only long-term concievable enemy of Pakistan is India.”

    This very belief is Pakistan’s short-term/long-term enemy. What do you think India wants to do to Pakistan ? Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    Nov 20, 2010 - 3:34AM

    I was wrong in thinking that Pakistanis blindly support their army. They can see for themselves how their own army is compromising the very security of Pakistan just to keep their jobs and well being at top levels, they are investing in militray rathe rthan people. As wets rolls out newer military technologies, these Generals hunder will only increase.

    These Generals aren’st just compromsing the security of Pakistan but carrying of total wastage of precious few resources and denying emergency reliefs to the destitues and flood victims.

    These Generals are the ones who are bargaining away the Pakistani soverinighy for cheap deals tat have no meaning for Pakistan in long term. They are making committments to West that they don’t intend to keep and retribution from West will surely follow. Then these guys will simply give in andthrow in their towels to save their skin.

  • Raqib Ali
    Nov 20, 2010 - 3:48AM

    Why not? F16 are good for our air force. We also have 100s of wonderful JF17 Thunder. We need to make our defence stronger to survive in this ruthless world.


  • Klues
    Nov 20, 2010 - 6:49AM

    @Faraz Israel gets free F35s because their first batch is 3 months late. F16 for Pak late since my childhood. Why Israel gets special treatment since US is secular.Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Nov 20, 2010 - 8:08AM

    I think the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder jets, fitted with Chinese missiles are a much better bet than the Block-52( Outdated version), F-16’s. Of course, you never know about the Chinese equipment since no body has verified those weapons independently. Chinese work in total secrecy, as it is the case in any dictatorship and their weapons are not battle tested. But still they are better since they can be extensively used in a conflict although its a different matter altogether as to how well they perform in a battle field. Americans have total control over the Pakistani F-16s and it highly unlikely that they will allow these jets to be used against India. Noted columnist Kamran Shafi, actually wrote that these F-16s are programmed not to cross in to India, such is the control of the Americans on these jets.Recommend

  • IZ
    Nov 20, 2010 - 8:27AM

    Waste of money…. again.Recommend

  • jeysundhar
    Nov 20, 2010 - 9:48AM

    why does pak need f-16s? india s not bound 2 attack them witout provocation…india has been exhibiting a lot of restraint, maybe too much restraint in dealin wit pak. after t 26/11, the dawn(ironically a pakistani newspaper) proved beyond doubt tht t perpetrators were from pakistan….even aftr tht, india never made any aggressiv moves and has resorted to back door diplomacy and judicial procedures. pakistan shoudl focus its resources more on social n welfare sectors rather thn stock its arsenal for a war that wont happen witout its provocation.
    long term conceivabl enemy of pak is india….?? hahah….if ths s t attitude aftr al t confidence buildin measures of the indian govt….man idk wat more india s gotta do….lemme guess, hand over t whol of kashmir…or mayb t whole of india….Recommend

  • saadat nazir
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:01PM

    pakistan should boost its defence capabilitiesRecommend

  • faraz
    Nov 20, 2010 - 5:20PM


    Antisemitism is more pronounced in history of the West than the East. So if airplanes were to be sold on theological grounds, Isreal would have got none of them. Foreign policy is not based on religious ideology. For example, we have good relations with China which is governed by the godless communist party and it doesnt allow preaching of religion. So religiously speaking, we should have waged jihad against the atheists! Pak China relations also prove that hatred between nations is politically motivated; i have never met anyone who hates a Chinese for his religious belief. Even the extremists groups never mentioned China when they talk of persecution of Muslims across the world.Recommend

  • Bhinder
    Nov 20, 2010 - 5:42PM

    Credit goes to our present govt that at last Americans have turned to be kind enough to hand over F-16 Aircraft to Pakistan Air Force.Well done! Have a safe landing .

    Would that the weaponary system of the aircraft could have been modified to destroy the hidden and unhidden targets of our common foe i.e poverty, ignorance,hatred,religious discrimination,racism,intolerance,illitracy,curruption,exploitation,social injustice, and much more other evils which have engulfed our society at large.!!!!>Recommend

  • Nov 21, 2010 - 11:27AM

    These F-16s are welcome but without any encumbrances. The only obligation we have is to pay the monies to the US Treasury / Lockheed Martin, which supposedly has been done. They can take them back if they want because the sooner we get RID of the US HANDSHAKE we will be able to count if our fingers are intact. Sixty three years of back-stabbing, double dealing, four flushing, insults and arrests of innocent Pakistanis and Muslims is enough.

    Why do the Indians get so much heartburn against Pakistanis. Moreso we have fought three wars and are familiar with the Indian and Israeli jealousy against us. Let them be…….dont bother about them………….after all we have the armed forces to take care of them.

    Frankly the Americans are up to their necks in worry over AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ and improving the US budget deficit. Finally let them take back their Block 52 F-16CDs and give them to any Tim, Tom, Dick, Harry or Mary.

    Salams to all on mama terra firma. Recommend

  • sultan
    Nov 21, 2010 - 12:08PM

    Poverty, ignorance,hatred,religious discrimination,racism,intolerance,illitracy,curruption,exploitation,social injustice, and much more other evils which have engulfed indian society as well ….. then why do they buy su30s etc……who do you think they are ment for??? wake up guys……these aircraft were contracted in 2005 and already paid for much before the floods…….and all of you please read world history more often……..Recommend

  • sultan
    Nov 21, 2010 - 12:12PM

    to Ajay Mittal

    and what do you think indian generals are upto …… land scams ????Recommend

  • sultan
    Nov 21, 2010 - 12:13PM

    For Moiz

    you have all your facts twisted!!!Recommend

  • sultan
    Nov 21, 2010 - 12:15PM


    counter question why does india need su 30s???Recommend

  • jeysundhar
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:43PM

    @sultan…india faces pak’s pointless aggressions as was evident in 1947 n in kargil.while pak has claimed tht thes wer non-state actors it has recently named over 430 soldiers as martyrs of t kargil war…chk t website if u don trust me….pl tel me how can thr b a martyr in a war whn t army did not participate…?(as pak claimed initially). india has not been anywher close to bein bankrupt in t past 15 years unlike pak which has been written off as a failed state more times than any other country.
    to answer ur other question….india has been allocating a huge portion of its budget towards social sector programs lik nrega, antyodaya anna yojana etc…as far as i can see, paki spending s visibl only in t defence sector. more importantly, education in pak s abysmal. i don blame u do u educate kids when half ur schools n hospitals r bombed by domestic jihadists Recommend

  • R chandra
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:56PM

    To all Indians who responded here:

    I wish to question all the Indians who respond negatively give unwelcome comments here in this post: why cant keep quite and let the Pakistinis sort out their problems/issues if they what is your problem if they feel happy and secure with the F 16s and other weapons,why you need to react in pakistani columns,forums………………Recommend

  • jeysundhar
    Nov 21, 2010 - 5:07PM

    gud question mr.chandra.. v r not talkin here as indians, vr just promotin t spirit of brotherhood by talkin bout t welfare of a fellow state tht has its economy in dire straits…pak needs to realise tht its bein and wil b used as a mere pawn in t larger geo-politics of t region..whethr its t US usin pak against afghanisthan or t chinese usin pak against india, pak has failed to hav an independent foreign policy and lately a domestic policy as wel….its stance in international forums s not somthn in its own interests but merely to obstruct indian interests….Recommend

  • Amer
    Nov 21, 2010 - 6:12PM

    @jeysundhar: First of all my brain is half fried after reading your sms style comment. Secondly, please mind your own business and leave Pakistan’s defence to it’s own armed forces & people. You can go tell your mantara about China, Afghanistan etc to someone who believes you.

    I have had alot of Indians as my good friends over the years, living in the US, I had Indian roomates for three years & had good relations with everyone. But then I read comments from Indians like the ones here and say to my self, Pakistan’s Armed forces are the best to decide about it’s security. Let these blinded (with hate) Indians pen down their own personal vendetta on these pages…. Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Nov 21, 2010 - 10:11PM

    If someone look at my previous postings here, I am no friend of India or Indians.
    However, Following good logic I think here I will have to agree with Rehan ( not an Indian),
    Ajay Mittal , and Sonam shayam. I do think this is the drain of Pakistani money. Chinese J-17 are much better a choice. Besides Pakistan can also increase Nuclear deterrence which is home made and cheap. India is certainly a perceived enemy and I agree with that. There may come a time decades later when this might change but for now it will hold this way.

    Ajay Mittal and Sonam Shayam have very good points raised here and I think We Pakistani also want to save money on such deals and America can not be trusted in defense deals anymore. Pakistan must look for alternatives and China is right there. Military cooperation with China needs to be on strategic grounds for the coming years. A common defense kind of treaty or something on those grounds. That will save a big time on Pakistani Military Budget. Goal should be to free resources by cutting unnecessary spending while keeping country defenses at most up to date .Recommend

  • Dani
    Nov 22, 2010 - 3:51AM

    it baffles me that my fellow Pakistanis believe that India is a greater threat then the Taliban and AL Qaeda? like really?? are you for real? just look at it like this. how many Pakistanis have the Indians killed and compare that to our own heroes of the past the Taliban.

    a stable Pakistan is in benefit of India, and for a second lets leave India out of the picture. A stable Pakistan is in benefit to the Pakistanis. Kashmir is history, getting Kashmir will do no good to us the pakistanis.

    And F-16s not crossing into india.. thats just a bunch of bull!.. and F 16s can and are maintained in Pakistan. Recommend

  • ajay mittal
    Nov 22, 2010 - 6:12AM educate them. After all they were our cousins, they still will remain our cousins…
    Our histories are tied like it or not.. One cannot erase the long history we have, it is a special relationship even if Pakistanis have been pumping is just their style, we are just engaging them at people to people level.Recommend

  • Aced Reza
    Nov 22, 2010 - 12:43PM

    yar i think blame game is totally irrational, we lived as brothers for centuries. Indians and Pakistanis dont hate each other, for the motives of a bunch of ill leaders, we had wars, both lost blood. I think India is a great country and indians are good enough to be our best pals, if not brothers. i hate all those who come on forums, and talk against any of twin countries. A little love, and we wont need to spend billions on defence.

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