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Pak may bag largest US arms deal

india Updated: Jul 05, 2006 12:18 IST
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The United States has offered to sell a miffed Pakistan not just 18 odd F-16s, but additionally a four-in-one package of aircraft, weapons and electronics worth over $5.1 billion in what would be its largest arms deal with Islamabad.

Unless stopped by the US Congress, Pakistan will get 36 new F-16C/D fighter planes worth $3 billion, weapons worth $650 million for them, 60 F-16A/B modification kits worth $1.3 billion and F-16 Engine Modifications and Falcon UP/STAR Structural Upgrades worth $151 million -- all ostensibly in aid of America's Global War on Terror.

Notified to the Congress by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on June 28, the deal also includes 200 sidewinder missiles, 200 air-to-air missiles, 500 kits for ground-attack satellite-guided bombs and 36 advanced pilot helmets that can display targeting information on the visor.

The F-16C/D fighter aircraft, and the $650 million dollar weapon systems going with it, will be used for close air support in ongoing operations contributing to the GWOT or Global War on Terror, DSCA told the Congress.

This will also allow the Pakistani Air Force to modernise its aging fighter and weapons inventory, thereby enabling Pakistan to support both its own air defence needs and coalition operations.

The upgraded F-16A/B aircraft also will be used for close air support in ongoing GWOT operations. In addition, Pakistan intends to purchase the MLU Programme equipment to enhance survivability, communications connectivity, and extend the useful life of its F-16A/B fighter aircraft.

The modifications and upgrades in this proposed sale will permit Pakistan's F-16A/B squadron to operate safely, and enhance Pakistan's conventional deterrent capability. Pakistan's air fleet can readily use these updates to enhance and extend the life of its aircraft, DSCA said.

The modification of the engines and Falcon UP/STAR structural updates will provide capable F-16's that can be used for close air support in ongoing GWOT operations, it said.

Eleven American companies have been listed as the principal contractors for the four deals: BAE Advanced Systems, Boeing Corporation, Boeing Integrated Defence Systems, Raytheon Company, Raytheon Missile Systems, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control, Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems, Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems, Pratt & Whitney United Technology Company, and General Electric Aircraft Engines.

Top on Pakistan's shopping list with a price tag of $3 billion are: 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 Aircraft with either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines (IPEs) and APG-68 (V)9 radars; 7 spare F100-PW-229 IPE or F110-GE-129 IPE engines; 7 spare APG-68(V)9 radar sets; 36 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems; 36 AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS radios with HAVE QUICK I/II; 36 Conformal Fuel Tanks (pairs); 36 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals; 36 Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems; 36 APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe Systems; 36 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites without Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) or AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Counter Measures pod without DRFM or AN/ALQ-131 Electronic Counter Measures pod without DRFM or AN/ALQ-187 Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suites without DRFM; or AN/ALQ-178 Self-Protection Electronic Warfare Suites without DRFM and 1 Unit Level Trainer.

Next come weapons worth $650 million. These cover: 500 AIM-120C5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); 12 AMRAAM training missiles; 240 LAU-129/A Launchers; 200 AIM-9M-8/9 SIDEWINDER missiles; 500 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Guidance Kits: GBU-31/38 Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) kits; 1,600 Enhanced-GBU-12/24 GBUs; 800 MK-82 500 pound General Purpose (GP) and MK-84 2,000 pound GP bombs; and 700 BLU-109 2,000 pound with FMU-143 Fuze.

Third on Pakistan's wish list with a price tag of $1.3 billion are: 60 F-16A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU) modification and Falcon Star Structural Service Life Enhancement kits. These consist of: APG-68 (V) 9 with Synthetic Aperture Radar or APG-66 (V) 2 radar; Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems; AN/APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe Systems; AN/ALE-47 Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser Systems; Have Quick I/II Radios; Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals; SNIPER (formerly known as AN/AAQ-33 PANTERA) targeting pod capability; Reconnaissance pod capability; Advanced Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation Units; MDE included in the MLU modification and structural upgrade kits 21 ALQ-131 Block II Electronic Countermeasures Pods without the Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) or ALQ-184 Electronic Countermeasures Pods without DRFM; 60 ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management Systems; 1 Unit Level Trainer; and 10 APG-68(V)9 spare radar sets. Also included are radars, mode, receivers, installation, and avionics, spare and repair parts.

The fourth deal worth $151 million covers modification/overhaul of 14 F100-PW-220E engines, 14 Falcon UP/STAR F-16 structural upgrade kits, de-modification and preparation of 26 aircraft with support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits.

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