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Pakistan To Get Final Batch OF F-16’s From US

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will receive 18 F-16 block 52 aircraft from
Lockheed Martin later this month as part of a foreign military sale
(FMS) of 36 F-16C/D block 50/52 aircraft announced in June 2005.

Under
the US-Pakistan F-16 programme, Lockheed was awarded a contract for 12
F-16C and six F-16D block 52 aircraft in December 2006. The delivery
comes at a time when military aid for Pakistan has been almost
completely halted by the US in the wake of a series of crises affecting
the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Pakistan has
already received block 52 versions of the F-16 aircraft, which includes
day-night, all-weather and precision-attack capabilities. The compact
multirole, single-engine Lockheed Martin-built F-16 Fighting Falcon
aircraft has a high level of manoeuvrability, a top speed of 2,124km/h,
and can detect planes flying at very low altitudes. The F-16 block 52
aircraft provides additional fuel and payload capacity, improved
avionics and sensors, and colour cockpit displays with enhanced
pilot/vehicle interfaces.

The AN/APG-68 radar-equipped F-16 with
wind-corrected munitions dispenser infrared navigation provides the
pilot with separate air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, including
long-range, all-aspect detection and tracking, simultaneous
multiple-target tracking and high-resolution ground mapping. The F-16
jets are widely deployed by the air forces of Israel, Egypt, Iraq, New
Zealand, South Korea, Chile, Poland, UAE, Bahrain, Greece and Singapore.

The
US is also working with the PAF to update 45 F-16s from its existing
fighter fleet through the US foreign military financing security
assistance programme. The aircraft are currently undergoing mid-life
upgrades and deliveries are scheduled to take place throughout 2012 and
2013.

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