Days after the meeting between President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Pentagon notified the Congress on Friday of its decision to approve military sales worth USD 125 million that would result in 24×7 end-use monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of USD 125 million,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
The Pentagon delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale on Friday.
According to the statement, Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services — US government and contractor technical and logistics support services — and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.
In its notification, the Pentagon asserted that the proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
“Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations as part of the Peace Drive F-16 program,” the statement said.
According to F-16.Net, the aircraft order by Pakistan was designated as “Peace Drive I”, continuing with a long tradition of naming the F-16 international sales programmes with the word “Peace”.
The programme raised the total number of F-16s ordered by Pakistan to 54. The Pakistan Air Force received its first F-16, in the block 15 F-16A/B configuration, in 1982. The country has been operating the Lockheed Martin aircraft since 1963, when it received C-130B airlifters.
The “Peace Drive I” order was for 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds, all powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine.