March 26, 2005 (by PAF-Viper) - Fifteen years after blocking sales of F-16s to Pakistan due to its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. government approved the sale of 24 new F-16s to Pakistan. The aircraft are rumored to be block 52 models.
Pakistani F-16A #82702 over the Indus river, near Attock. Note the standard PAF F-16 color scheme. [Photo by Saeed Ahmed Siddique]
In 1990, the U.S. halted the production of a third & fourth batch of F-16s ordered by Pakistan
, due to Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. 40 F-16A/B aircraft had been delivered under the Peace Gate I & II programs, however none of the Peace Gate III & IV aircraft were delivered.
28 F-16A/B block 15OCU
aircraft that had already been built were embargoed and were stored at the AMARC
at Davis Monthan AFB
. Attempts to sell these aircraft to other countries such as New Zealand
were not successful, and finally these aircraft were split between the USAF and US Navy
and used in the aggressor role.
Fifteen years later, Pakistan finally received the go-ahead on March 25th, 2005, to order 24 additional F-16s, as an explicit reward for General Pervez Musharraf's support in the war on terror.
The F-16s are rumored to be block 52
aircraft, and the number of aircraft (currently stated as 24) could still change. The PAF
hopes, eventually, to procure 71 new Block 52 F-16s. The total desire is to have 111 F-16s in its inventory in the next 10 years.
Furthermore, the US has agreed to give the current PAF block 15
F-16s the Mid-Life Update (MLU
), which is expected to commence in 2006.
The U.S. government also pointed out that it would "respond positively" to an Indian request for information on a bid for F-16s, F-18s or other aircraft.
Implications for Lockheed Martin
The decision to sell F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan is likely to be as warmly greeted in Fort Worth as it is in Karachi.
That's because Lockheed Martin Corp. has said it needs new orders for the jet before this fall, or it will have to take action to close the production line there that employs about 5,000 workers.
The company currently has back orders for about 200 aircraft and the last one should come off the line in 2008.
Lockheed's F-16 production line has been "saved" before, in 1992 when the administration of President George H.W. Bush announced the sale of 150 F-16s to Taiwan
Despite the concerns Indian officials expressed about news of the sale to Pakistan, the prospect of both countries buying F-16s is quite positive. "Two countries that have F-16s have never fought a war," said Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft analyst with the Teal Group.
Share your opinion:Timeline of events:
- 23 December 1981 Pakistan orders 40 F-16s (Peace Gate I&II) becoming the 9th customer.
- 17 May 1986 A Pakistani F-16 shoots down a Su-22 of the Afghan Air Force, making Pakistan the second country after Israel to put F-16s into military action.
- 11 December 1988 Pakistan orders 11 F-16s (Peace Gate III).
- 05 September 1989 Pakistan orders 60 F-16s (Peace Gate IV).
- 06 October 1990 The US embargoes F-16 deliveries to Pakistan, and a total of 28 Pakistan F-16A/B Block 15OCU aircraft are put in flyable hold storage in the Sonoran desert.
- 10 April 1992 First Pakistani aircraft: F-16A (#90-943) and F-16B (#90-948) arrive at AMARC under designations AAFG0001 & AAFG0002. They are the first of 28 Peace Gate III & IV aircraft to be embargoed.
- 02 June 2002 Pakistani F-16 shot down 1 Indian Searcher II UAV.
- Pakistan sends F-16s to Turkey for exercise - Thursday, September 30, 2004
- Pakistan may get more F-16s after all - Monday, September 20, 2004
- PAF F-16 squadron gets more pilots - Thursday, April 08, 2004
- No decision to sell F-16s to Pakistan yet - Thursday, March 18, 2004
- No F-16s for Pakistan, says Pentagon - Saturday, October 11, 2003
- Accord on Pakistani F-16 spares likely - Tuesday, September 16, 2003
- US and Pakistan discuss F-16 purchase and upgrade under bn arms sale - Monday, September 01, 2003
- Belgian F-16's for Pakistan? - Monday, August 18, 2003
- US might agree to sell F-16s to India [Unconfirmed] - Tuesday, August 05, 2003
- Bush declares US not to hand over F-16s to Pakistan - Tuesday, June 24, 2003
- Pentagon denies deal to deliver F-16s to Pakistan - Friday, June 20, 2003
- US to sell F-16 aircraft to Pakistan? - Wednesday, June 18, 2003
- PAF developing "Super F-16" - Friday, April 25, 2003
- Pakistani F-16s join Edwards' test forces - Thursday, January 16, 2003
- F-16s meant for Pakistan given to US forces - Sunday, January 05, 2003
- Pakistani F-16 downs Indian Searcher II UAV - Friday, June 07, 2002
- PAF chief arrives in Washington, talks on the purchase of F-16s - Sunday, May 12, 2002
- US not to release F-16s to Pakistan - Sunday, November 11, 2001
- President wants US to release F-16 aircraft - Saturday, November 10, 2001
- US lifts arms embargo to Pakistan, offers to supply more F-16s - Tuesday, October 16, 2001
- PAF F-16s deployed in Skardu - Saturday, July 03, 1999
- U.S. Puts an End to F-16 Dispute with Pakistan - Saturday, December 19, 1998
- U.S., Pakistan Hope For Resolution Soon To F-16 Issue - Thursday, December 03, 1998
- New Zealand Acquires the 28 Pakistani F-16s - Wednesday, September 30, 1998
- 28 Pakistani F-16s to Bosnia and Herzegovina? - Saturday, May 30, 1998
- US Ready to Deliver F-16s to Pakistan? - Friday, May 22, 1998
- Should Pakistan Get F-16s for Restraint? - Saturday, May 16, 1998
- U.S. to offer F-16s to South Africa - Saturday, March 28, 1998
- PAF F-16s Demonstrate on Pakistan Day - Monday, March 23, 1998
- Pakistan Says Going to Court over F-16s - Friday, March 06, 1998
- Pakistan Mulls Legal Fight for U.S. F-16s - Sunday, January 11, 1998
- Pakistan Air Force orders F-16 Simulator - Tuesday, November 18, 1997
- Lockheed hands out layoff notices to F-16 workers - Thursday, January 20, 2005
- Lockheed Martin offers F-16 to India [unconfirmed] - Monday, March 01, 2004