Pakistan’s first batch of three new Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 fighters touched down at its air force’s Shahbaz (Jacobabad) air base on 26 June.

Ferried from the USA by Pakistan air force pilots, the trio included two twin-seat examples, registered 10804 and 10805. The other was a single-seat aircraft marked as 902.

They represent the first shipment from a 2006 contract for 12 C-model fighters and six F-16Ds.

 F-16D - Pakistan air force

F-16 touch down - Pakistan air force

F-16 trio - Pakistan air force

All images © Pakistan air force

“The delivery of all 18 aircraft will complete by the end of this year,” the air force says. “Pakistan attaches great significance to its air defence needs,” the service adds, while describing the new arrivals as “much superior” to its legacy fleet of F-16A/Bs.

Pakistan has 25 F-16As and 21 F-16Bs in active use, as listed in Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database. These were delivered between 1982 and 1994, it says.

Islamabad’s first Pratt & Whitney F100-229-engined F-16D, registered as 10801, was delivered in late 2009 to support development and training activities in the USA.