ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – As a moved to block sale of eight F-16 jets to Pakistan was successfully blocked in the US Senate, Islamabad is looking forward to buy another ten F-16 fighter planes from Washington.
“Pakistan has bought eight F-16 planes, two single seat F-16Cs and six twin-seat F-16Ds, along with some relevant equipment against US$699 million and recently a decision has been reached to buy another ten such planes,” the US based IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly quoted an unnamed military sources as saying.
The official however added that exact time to approach the United States for this purpose is yet to be decided.
According to information available with Daily Pakistan Global, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) mainly comprises of old mirage planes and F-6 jets, and 190 planes from the PAF fleet need to be retired till 2020.
Hence Pakistan desperately needs to induct more fighter planes such as F-16 and JF-17 Thunder in the coming years.
Pakistan, currently, has as many as 76 operational F-16 jets while incoming eight F-16 of C/D type will make it 84. Acquiring another ten F-16s will raise the number to 94.
On the other hand PAF has also inducted 66 JF-17 Thunder -locally prepared in coordination of China- and hundred more such planes will join the fleet by mid-2018.
This means that Pakistan will approximately need to buy another fifty fighter planes to replace the retiring 190 aircraft in coming four years.
It is also relevant to be mentioned here that Pakistan had recently expressed interest to buy Russian and Chinese aircraft such as Sukhoi Su-35 or Chengdu J-10 in 4th generation category and Shenyang J-31 or Chengdu J-20 in 5th generation category.