Pakistan gets three new F-16s

Pakistan gets three new F-16s

Pakistan had signed a contract with the US government in 2005-06 for acquiring 18 F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft, the Pakistan Air Force said in a statement.

The first batch of three jets arrived in May while the second batch was delivered today. The delivery of the remaining aircraft will be completed by December.

"Under this arrangement, PAF would receive these state-of-the-art aircraft from the US government in staggered batches," the statement said.

Two more jets will arrive next week, it said. The second batch of jets flew into the Shahbaz airbase at Jacobabad in southern Sindh province.

Brig Gen Michael Nagata, Deputy Commander from the Office of the Defence Representative in Pakistan, handed over the aircraft on behalf of the US government to Air Marshal Mohammad Hasan, Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations).

The F-16 Block 52 aircraft are equipped with a sophisticated avionics suite and the latest weapons with night precision attack capability, the PAF said. These aircraft are part of the PAF's bid to modernise and enhance its air defence capabilities, officials said.

Air Marshal Hasan said the PAF desires to maintain peace with honour in the region. However, if required it will use these aircraft along with all the capabilities at its disposal to defend Pakistan, he said.