Pakistan receives three F-16s from USA

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Pakistan has received its last Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52 aircraft and two upgraded F-16 Block 15s from the USA, while Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered three upgraded Pakistan air force F-16s in Ankara.

The Block 52 example (below) was the last aircraft in an 18-aircraft deal signed in 2006 for 12 F-16C single-seat fighters, and six F-16D two-seaters, the air force said in a statement.

 

© Pakistan air force

The two F-16 Block F-15 aircraft were among four aircraft sent to the USA for a mid-life upgrade, it added. The remaining pair will return from the USA later this year.

The three aircraft arrived together at the Pakistan air force's Shahbaz (Jacobabad) airbase, where a small ceremony was held.

 

© Pakistan air force

According to Pakistan media reports, there was some concern that the 18th Block 52 would never arrive. It was originally scheduled to arrive last year, but this was delayed owing to the tensions resulting from the US special forces raid in Pakistan last March that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Separately, TAI announced that it has delivered the first three Pakistan air force F-16s to receive a mid-life upgrade in Turkey. The aircraft were presented to Pakistani officials in Ankara and have yet to depart for Pakistan.

In 2009, TAI was selected to provide a mid-life upgrade for 41 F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft under Pakistan's "Peace Drive II" programme. The company upgrades the aircraft, performs flight tests  and will train a total of 72 Pakistan air force technicians. Work under the deal is expected to conclude by September 2014, the company said.

Pakistan's 18 F-16 Block 52s are powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines, with other systems understood to include Northrop Grumman's mechanically scanned APG-68(V)9 radar and ITT's ALQ-211(V)9 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite.

A proposed weapons package outlined by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in 2006 included 500 Raytheon AIM-120C5 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and 200 short-range AIM-9M-8/9 Sidewinders, plus 500 Boeing joint direct attack munitions, 1,600 enhanced GBU-12/24 laser-guided bombs and 700 BLU-109 penetrator bombs.