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Pakistan’s 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by India’s 126

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    Pakistan’s 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by India’s 126

    Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

    By Khalid Hasan

    WASHINGTON: Pakistan is expected to order 18 to 71 F-16 Falcon combat aircraft from the United States, as compared with 126 F-16s - or potentially F/A-18E/F Super Hornets -that could be offered for sale to India, according to Congressional Research Service (CRS).

    In a report released on Thursday, CRS said, Some believe that this sale is being considered, in part, to reward the Pakistani government for the role it has played in support of US-led anti-terrorism efforts If completed, such sales would have implications for political-military relations among the United States, Pakistan, and India; for combat aircraft proliferation; and for the US defence industrial base.

    CRS said it is currently unclear what long-term effects a potential sale of combat aircraft to South Asia, might have on US political relations with Pakistan and India, or the political relationship between them. Justifications for the decision to allow resumed sales to Pakistan include a US interest that Pakistan feel secure and a perception that a substantive US defence relationship with both Pakistan and India will stabilise the balance between them. Some believe the decision is a reward to Musharraf and the Pakistani military for their post-9/11 cooperation with US-led counter terrorism efforts, and see renewed exports as potentially increasing US leverage in Islamabad while eroding anti-American sentiments there. Such leverage could include increased Pakistani cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism and non-proliferation. Some see the decision to allow resumed F-16 sales to Pakistan as disruptive of regional stability and efforts to resolve disputes there.

    The report said, Critics also contend that renewed F-16 sales may strengthen non-democratic forces in Islamabad. Though the Bush Administration has made spreading democracy a cornerstone of its foreign policy, Pakistan continues to be governed by a General who came to power through a military coup, and the State Department has noted that Pakistans democratic institutions remain weak. Moreover, some opponents of the sale argue that the United States should not provide sophisticated weapons to a country that has been a source of significant nuclear weapons proliferation. Pending legislation reflecting this concern in the 109th Congress includes H.R. 1553 and S. 12 (Sec. 232), which prohibit aid or military equipment to Pakistan unless the President certifies that Pakistan is cooperating with US nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

    CRS pointed out that Pakistan-US relations are rooted in the Cold War and South Asia regional politics of the 1950s. Differing expectations of the regional security relationship have long bedevilled bilateral ties. The United States viewed Pakistan as a valuable ally in its efforts to contain the Soviet Union, while Pakistan saw the United States as a powerful guarantor of its security vis--vis India. In the mid-1970s, strains arose over Pakistans efforts to respond to Indias 1974 underground nuclear test by seeking its own nuclear weapons capability. US aid was suspended in 1979. However, only months later, Pakistan again took the role of frontline ally, this time in the US-supported effort

    CRS recalled, Despite the renewal of US aid and close security ties, many in Congress remained troubled by Pakistans nuclear weapons program ... With the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistans nuclear activities again came under intensive US scrutiny and, in 1990, President George H.W. Bush again suspended aid to Pakistan. One result of this aid cut-off was the non-delivery of 28 F-16 fighter aircraft purchased by Pakistan in 1989 (in 1998, the United States agreed to compensate Pakistan with a cash payment and goods, including surplus wheat). It was not until late-2001, when the United States again looked to Pakistan as a frontline ally, that major US aid again flowed to Pakistan.

    Describing the much-sought F-16, the report said, The F-16 Falcon is a single engine multi-role aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. Its relatively low cost and high versatility make the F-16 one of the most exported fighter aircraft in the world. The F-16 was first fielded in 1979 and has been upgraded significantly. The capabilities of the F-16 vary greatly depending on the upgrade or modification fielded. The most modern F-16 flown by the United States is the Block 50/52. The United Arab Emirates flies a more advanced Block 60 variant (improved radar, defences, range). The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a dual engine, multi-role aircraft manufactured by the Boeing Company. It is the most modern US combat aircraft currently in full rate production. The Super Hornet reached initial operational capability in 2001. The differences between the E/F and earlier F/A-18 variants (A/B, C/D) are so great, that many consider it to be a new aircraft rather than an upgrade of an existing model. The Super Hornet has been approved for export, but no sales have yet been made. The F/A- 18C/D models, which are no longer in production, have been exported to eight countries.

    India, the report pointed out, enjoys a quantitative and qualitative advantage over Pakistans air force. It has 21 more fighter squadrons than Pakistan and a larger number of modern aircraft. India operates an aircraft carrier with short-take off and vertical landing fighters. Unlike Pakistan, India supports its combat aircraft with aerial refuelling, electronic countermeasures, and modern airborne warning and control aircraft. The sale of F-16s to Pakistan would increase its number of modern combat aircraft but would not bring it close to parity with India. If India were to add F-16s or F/A-18s to its inventory, the disparity in aviation capabilities between the two countries would grow even more. Some express concern that Pakistan could use its new F-16s to deliver nuclear weapons. The overall potential impact on nuclear deterrence and stability in South Asia of additional Pakistani F-16s, however, appears unclear. First, because the 32 F-16s that Pakistan already fields are believed to be nuclear capable, additional F-16s dont appear to introduce new capabilities but may expand existing ones.

    Second, Pakistan also fields nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Some believe that ballistic missiles add instability to the security equation because they are high priority targets, and consequently the pressure to use them early in a conflict can be great.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...1-5-2005_pg1_6
    Oh, everything's too damned expensive these days. This Bible cost 15 bucks! And talk about a preachy book! Everybody's a sinner! Except this guy.

    #2
    Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

    and US benefits by providing the planes to both ...

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

      How about JF-17s?
      Are those better (functonally/technically)in anyway than the F-16's?

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

        ^ Nope, they have about 80% capability of F-16s.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

          Originally posted by Minerva
          How about JF-17s?
          Are those better (functonally/technically)in anyway than the F-16's?
          in a generalized way i'd think yes theyd be almost around 80percent of what the F-16 Block 52 onwards would stand at, but with the current operational structure of the PAF, having a plane like the JF17 on the fleet would be huge step, even more so when we're producing it on our own and even creating a market for it for other nations to place orders. at the moment the F16s that we have are the frontline fighters withe the elitest fighter pilots going onto them, the Mirages and the F7PG are more in numbers and put to most efficient use. once we get the JF and the F16s the JF may play the mirage's and the F7PG's roles and the F-16s could remain the mean machine. unless ofcourse the US offers us something more, like the F18 or perhaps we opt for the Grippen

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

            Yeah, but Indians have the flyight capability of rocks... Their flight time is determined solely by how far up one can fling them

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Pakistans 71 F-16s likely to be outmatched by Indias 126

              India will never go for the F16s. The offer was simply made to calm the right wing. India has an infrasturcture built for the Mirage 2000s and Mig 29s. They already have nine different aircrat (fighter-attack) from 5 diiferent countries in their inventory (A Logistical NIGHTMARE).

              No Matter how much we'd wanna believe, on the contrary, IAF is a professional force and it'll go for the aircrafts that fit its requirement.

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