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Pakistan to get advanced F16s from US

The new aircraft will modernise the existing Pakistan Air Force fleet, bringing a versatile defensive capability.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 11:51 IST

The US government has awarded an initial $78 million as part of a $144 million contract to Lockheed Martin for tasks related to the production of 18 new Advanced Block 52 F-16 aircraft for Pakistan.

"This is another great day for the F-16 programme and for our customer. We remain committed to providing Pakistan with the most technologically advanced and proven fighter available on the international market today," a senior company official said on Monday.

 

"The F-16s we will deliver to Pakistan will join a fleet of over 4,300 aircraft representing more than 24 countries, with 51 follow-on buys by 14 repeat customers, each who have relied on the Fighting Falcon as a key component of their national defence and fighter force structure," said June Shrewsbury, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programmes.

 

Earlier this year, the governments of Pakistan and the United States signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) agreeing to the purchase of 18 Block 52 F-16s. The LOA provides Pakistan an option for an additional 18 aircraft.

 

The new aircraft will modernise the existing Pakistan Air Force fleet, bringing a robust and versatile defensive capability to the nation's military. The final Pakistan F-16 under this contract will be delivered in 2010, a company release said.

 

"Our company and employees take great pride in producing and sustaining the F-16 for many years to come. We value our longstanding relationship with the government of Pakistan and the confidence they have placed in the F-16 in support of their nation's security," said Shrewsbury.

 

Employing about 140,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. In 2005, it reported sales of $37.2 billion.