Tuesday, 7 December 2021

US approves $125mn support for Pakistan’s F-16 warplanes

Akhtar Soomro/ REUTERS

WASHINGTON: The United States approved $125 million worth of technical and logistics support for Pakistan’s F-16 warplanes, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successful visit to Washington.

Approval to support US-built aircraft was approved by the US State Department and announced simultaneously by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of $125 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 26, 2019,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

“The Government of Pakistan requested a continuation of technical support services; US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 program. The total estimated program cost is $125 million,” it added.

The approval for technical and logistics support for Pakistan’s F-16s comes just days after Prime Minister Imran Khan met with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

The potential sale will support US foreign policy and national security “by protecting US technology through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring,” the statement announcing the Pakistan approval read.

The statement added that the proposed sales of equipment and support “will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

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