Report says US handed over 14 combat aircrafts, 59 military trainer jets to Pakistan
The United States (US) on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan 14 combat aircraft, 59 military trainer jets and 374 armoured personnel carriers which were earlier used in Afghanistan and Iran.
“As the US withdraws its forces from neighbouring Afghanistan, the major defence articles have been transferred to Pakistan under its ‘Excessive Defence Article’ category, an internal congressional report said,” according to the Economic Times.
India in the past has opposed to the transfer of such arms to Pakistan as it believes Islamabad would eventually use the fighter jets against it.
Pakistan has either made full payment or will make payments from its national funds towards the purchase of 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting FalconBSE -4.69 per cent combat aircraft worth $1.43 billion, according to the internal report prepared by Congressional Research Service (CRS), an independent research wing of the Congress.
This includes F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, 1,450 2,000-pound bombs, 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits. These have cost Pakistan $629 million.
Pakistan has also paid $298 million for 100 harpoon anti-ship missiles, 500 sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($ 95 million) and seven Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million).
Pakistan received 26 Bell 412EP utility helicopters along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million under the Coalition Support.
Pakistan is also receiving military equipment with a mix of its national funds and America’s foreign military funding. These include 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft.
Pakistan has purchased 45 such kits, with all upgrades completed to date. This includes 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers.
Under Frontier Corps and Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund authorities, US has provided four MI-17 multirole helicopters (another six were provided temporarily at no cost), four King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, and 450 vehicles.