Billions to Upgrade and Up-arm Pakistan’s F-16s
December 18/19: Technical Security Support Booz Allen Hamilton won a $9.1 million contract to provide technical security team support services in support of the Pakistan F-16 program. On June 28, 2006, the US DSCA notified Congress via a series of releases of its intention to provide Pakistan with a $5.1 billion Foreign Military Sales package to upgrade the F-16s that serve as the PAF’s top of the line fighters. Pakistan has used the F-16 fighter jets against India, the latest being in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike inside Pakistan by India. The Pakistan Air Force received its first F-16, in the Block 15 F-16A/B configuration, in 1982. Work under the deal will take place in Pakistan and expected completion is on June 18, 2020.
On June 28/06, the US DSCA notified Congress via a series of releases of its intention to provide Pakistan with a $5.1 billion Foreign Military Sales package to upgrade the F-16s that serve as the PAF’s top of the line fighters. Some of these items had been put on hold following the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan & Kashmir, but the request for 36 new F-16 Block 50/52s is now going ahead, along with new weapons, engine modifications, and upgrade kits for Pakistan’s older F-16 A/Bs. The buy went through, and was accompanied by the supply of 26 older F-16s from USAF surplus stocks. Then, a 2014 sale added 13 machines from from Jordan.
These items are detailed below, along with controversies the proposed sales have created, and some of the conditions attached to the sale by the US government….
The Sales: New and Upgraded F-16s
Item 1: 36 New F-16 Block 50/52s – up to $3 billion
The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of up to 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft – a buy of 18 jets, with an option for another 18. The planes would be equipped with the APG-68(V)9 radars, which are the most modern F-16 radar except for the UAE’s F-16E/F Block 60 “Desert Falcons” and their AN/APG-80 AESA. The engine contract was less certain. Pakistan’s existing F-16s use the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine, but the new planes involved a competition between Pratt & Whitney’s F100-PW-229 or General Electric’s F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines (IPEs).
The total value, if all options are exercised, was estimated as high as $3 billion, which is in line with Pentagon releases that eventually peg the negotiated cost of 12 F-16Cs, 6 F-16Ds, and ancillary equipment at $1.4 billion. Pratt & Whitney kept their customer, and supplied the new jets with their F100-PW-229 EEP engine, making them all F-16 Block 52s. The package for Pakistan’s new F-16s included:
- 7 spare F100-PW-229 EEP or F110-GE-129 IPE engines (F100-PW-229 EEP selected)
- 7 spare APG-68(V)9 radar sets
- 36 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
- 36 AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS radios with HAVE QUICK I/II
- 36 Conformal Fuel Tanks (pairs) that fit along the aircraft’s sides to give them extra range
- 36 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals; see tactical uses of MIDS-LVT Link 16 systems
- 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: ALQ-211 AIDEW without Digital Radio Frequency Memory (picked); 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.
- 1 Unit Level Trainer
- Associated support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits, capability to employ a wide variety of munitions, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, CONUS-personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to ensure full program supportability.
The principal contractors under Pakistan’s “Peace Drive” buy will be:
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX
- Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control, Dallas, TX
- BAE Advanced Systems Greenlawn, NY
- Boeing Corporation Seattle, WA
- Boeing Integrated Defense Systems: St Louis, MO; Long Beach, CA; San Diego, CA
- Raytheon Company: Lexington, MA; Goleta, CA
- Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ
- Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems in Garland, TX
- Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD
- United Technology Company subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT; or
- General Electric Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, OH
There are no known offset agreements in connection with this proposed sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Pakistan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical review/support and program management of the aircraft. See DSCA release [PDF].
Item 2: Weapons for the New F-16s – $650 Million
To equip those new F-16s, the Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of:
- 500 AIM-120C5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
- 12 AMRAAM training missiles – these have seeker warheads but lack engines
- 200 AIM-9M-8/9 Sidewinder Short-Range Air-Air Missiles; they are the version before the fifth-generation AIM-9X.
- 240 LAU-129/A Launchers – these support AMRAAM or Sidewinder missiles.
- 500 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Guidance Kits: GBU-31/38 Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) kits
- 1,600 Enhanced Paveway GBU-12 (500 lb.) and GBU-24s (2,000 lb.) with dual laser/GPS guidance
- 800 MK-82 500 pound General Purpose (GP) and MK-84 2,000 pound GP bombs
- 700 BLU-109 2,000 pound bunker-buster bombs with the FMU-143 Fuse
- Associated support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits, capability to employ a wide variety of munitions, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, CONUS-personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to ensure full program supportability will also be provided.
The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $650 million. The principal contractors will be:
- BAE Advanced Systems in Greenlawn, NY
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX
- Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Dallas, TX
- Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems in Garland, TX
- Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD
There are no known offset agreements in connection with this proposed sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Pakistan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical review/support, program management, and modification of the aircraft. See DSCA release [PDF format].
Item 3: F-16A/B Mid-Life Update Modification Kits – $1.3 billion
According to the US DSCA, Pakistan intends to purchase the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Program 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.” The total value, if all options are exercised, is estimated as high as $1.3 billion, and subsequent Pentagon releases peg it at that figure.
The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of 60 F-16A/B MLU and Falcon Star Structural Service Life Enhancement kits consisting of:
- APG-68v9 with Synthetic Aperture Radar or the APG-66(V)2 radar, which is a much smaller improvement on earlier F-16s. The APG-68 with SAR is far better at air to ground work, and can be used to monitor ground activity.
- Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
- 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 (MIDS-LVT)
- SNIPER (formerly known as AN/AAQ-33 PANTERA) targeting pod capability
- Reconnaissance pod capability
- Advanced Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation Units (used for training exercises)
- 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-68v9 spare radar sets.
- Radars, modems, receivers, installation, avionics, spare and repair parts, support equipment, CONUS-personnel training and training equipment, technical assistance, publications and technical documentation, system drawings, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, and other related logistics elements necessary for full program support.
The principal contractors will be:
- BAE Advanced Systems in Greenlawn, NY
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX
- Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Dallas, TX
- Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems in Garland, TX
- Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD
Turkish Aerospace Industries isn’t mentioned here, but they ended up with a contract to perform the upgrades on 36 F-16A/B aircraft. They’ve been doing similar work for Turkey, and for other F-16 customers in the Middle East.
There are no known offset agreements in connection with this proposed sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Pakistan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives. See DSCA release [PDF].
InsideDefense.com makes the interesting observation that Pakistan doesn’t have 60 F-16s to upgrade. The clear implication is that the Pakistani government is interested in buying used F-16s and upgrading them, which proved to be the case. As part of the deal for new planes, in Sept 30/06 the USA also agreed to deliver 26 of the “Peace Gate III/IV” F-16A/B Block 15OCUs that had been ordered in 1988-1989, then embargoed when Pakistan tested nuclear weapons. After the embargo, the planes had been diverted for use as aggressor combat training aircraft by USAF and the US Navy.
Item 4: F-16A/B Engine Modifications & UP/STAR – $151 Million
The third contract involves Engine Modifications and Falcon UP/STAR Structural Upgrades as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $151 million.
More specifically, the Government of Pakistan has requested engine improvements and structural modifications to its F-16 fleet, which includes a possible sale of:
- 14 F100-PW-220E engines
- 14 Falcon UP/STAR F-16 structural upgrade kits
- De-modification and preparation of 26 aircraft
- Support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to support the program.
The principal contractors will be:
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX
- United Technology Company subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT.
There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, but implementation of the engine modifications and UP/STAR repairs will require multiple trips to Pakistan involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical review/support, program management, and modification of the aircraft. See DSCA release [PDF].
Contracts & Key Events
Pakistan looks to Trump presidency for change in FMS.
January 17/17: Pakistan is hoping that a Donald Trump presidency may restart a plan to procure F-16 jets through a foreign military financial aid scheme. US Congress downed the plan last year following concerns by some lawmakers over Islamabad’s allegiances in regards to counter-terrorism operations in the region. It was decided that if Pakistan wanted the F-16s, they would have to pay for them out of their own pocket.
2012 – 2014
Pakistan buys 13 more F-16A/B Block 15s from Jordan; AIDEW ECM contracts finally finalized.
Sept 2/14: Delivery. Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. delivers the last 4 of 41 modernized Pakistan Air Force F-16s at a ceremony held at TAI’s facilities in Ankara, Turkey. TAI is well known for that kind of work, and the contract for avionics and structural modernization was signed in in 2009. Sources: TAI, “The Last Four TAI-Modernized F-16s Were Delivered To Pakistan Air Force”.
Modernization deliveries done
May 21/14: Inducted. All 13 F-16 fighters have been received from Jordan, and the PAF formally inducts them as 19th Squadron at Mushaf Air Base. Their F-16 fleet now stands at 79. Sources: Pakistan Tribune, “Jordanian F-16 Jets to Enhance Capability of PAF: COAS” | The News Tribe, “F-16 planes from Jordan included in PAF fleet”.
All RJAF F-16s delivered
April 29/14: Jordanian deliveries. The World Tribune:
“Pakistani sources said five aircraft arrived and were deployed by the Pakistan Air Force on April 27…. Diplomatic sources said… potential suppliers included Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. In his address, [PAF commander Marshal Tahir Rafique] Butt said… the fighters, [now] housed at the Air Force base in Sargodha, were in good condition.”
That base is about 150 miles due south of Islamabad, in the Punjab region. Sources: The World Tribune, “Jordan exports surplus F-16s to Pakistan” | The News International, “PAF can meet all challenges including that of Taliban: Air chief”.
Feb 19/14: +13 Jordanian. Pakistani media report that the government has inked a deal with Jordan for 12 used F-16As and 1 F-16B:
“With this, the strength of PAF F-16s will reach 76…. The deal… has been authenticated by the manufacturing company and the US government has also given its nod for the sale/purchase of the planes. Well-placed defence sources told The News here the other day that the purchased aircraft were in good condition…. have been modified into Air Defence Fighters (ADF) versions. The Ogden Air Logistics Centre performed structural upgrades to extend the aircraft life from the designed 4,000 to 8,000 hours flying time as part of the programme. They also modified the aircraft engine bay for the upgraded Pratt and Whitney F100-220E engine”
The RJAF does fly F-16 MLUs bought second-hand from Belgium and the Netherlands, but this set being sold is from the 33-plane Peace Falcon I/II purchases of F-16 ADFs in 1997 and 2003. The F-16 ADF variant is actually the F-16 Block 15OCU, which added the more reliable F100-PW-220 turbofan, structural strengthening, an enlarged HUD, and provisions for the radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. F-16 ADFs retain the AN/APG-66 radar, which has been supplanted by APG-68 models in subsequent variants and in Pakistan’s upgraded fighters. ADFs have some precision ground attack capability using the AGM-65 Maverick missile, but would be well behind Pakistan’s 18 new Block 52s, or the PAF’s roughly 40 existing Block 15 fighters that were upgraded to a similar standard under the programs above.
Barring upgrades, the best use for F-16 ADFs is as interceptor and air superiority fighters. Recall, however, that the DSCA request for MLU & Falcon STAR kits had a maximum of 60 aircraft, and that these kits wouldn’t be needed for the new F-16C/D Block 52s. Pakistan could order 13 more upgrade kits for these aircraft, and still be within its allotted FMS total.
The deal leaves the Royal Jordanian Air Force with 43-46 front-line F-16AM/BM MLU Block 20 fighters, and 15-18 F-16A/B Block 15 ADFs, of 79 purchased. Not only do they make some money with this sale, they also cut down on the number of RJAF F-16 ADFs that will need expensive mid-life upgrades. At least 2 of the F-16 ADFs have been lost in accidents, and their 5th and most recent F-16 accident took place on Jan 29/14. Sources: Pakistan’s The News International, “PAF acquires F-16s from Jordan”.
13 F-16s from Jordan
April 3/12: EW. ITT Exelis announces that $54 million has finalized a contract to provide Pakistan with some of its AIDEWS electronic warfare pods (vid. March 19/08, June 26/08, July 5/11, and July 20/11 entries). The 2008 contract had been for $78.2 million, and the July 2011 contract added $49.1 million, creating a current total of $181.3 million, plus over $9 million to integrate them with their F-16s’ AN/ALQ-231 central electronic warfare systems.
The ALQ-211 based Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS) integrates digital radar warning receivers and advanced jamming countermeasures systems against radar-based threats, including modern surface-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems. It can be carried on a pod, as Pakistan is doing, or internally as the AN/ALQ-211v4.
Feb 6/12: New deliveries done. The PAF receives its 18th and final new F-16 Block 52, and its its first 2 Mid-Life Upgrade F-16s, at PAF Shahbaz airbase. The last new F-16 was an F-16D that had remained in the US for testing & trials. F-16.net.
F-16 MLUs begin arriving
USA kills Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, whose leaders must have known his whereabouts – ties become very strained; Pakistan orders DB-110 reconnaissance pods; Training systems bought; Reports of J-10s and JF-17 fighters from China don’t materialize.
July 30/11: J-10s. The PAF will be flying a squadron of Chinese J-10B fighters alongside its F-16s, as a gift from China. The official offer was reportedly presented to the Pakistan Army’s Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Waheed Arshad, during a week-long visit to Beijing.
The Chinese have also pledged 50 co-developed JF-17 Thunder fighters in recent months, but the J-10Bs are different because they offer total performance on par with, or even superior to, the PAF’s new F-16C/D Block 52 fighter standard.
Subsequent monitoring shows that 3 years later, the PAF has no J-10s. The 50 JF-17s don’t appear to have arrived from China, either. Pakistan Kakhuda Hafiz | Economic Times of India | Defense Update | DefenseWorld.
July 29/11: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, TX receives a $42.3 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for 10 additional Pakistan F-16 A/B Block 15 Aircraft Enhanced Modernization Program kits. The ASC/WWMK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH manages the contract on behalf of its foreign Military Sale client (FA8615-07-C-6032, PO 0038).
10 more F-16 upgrade kits
July 26/11: Fragile alliance. At the US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s hearings on “Reassessing American Grand Strategy in South Asia,” John J. Tkacik, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s Former Chief of China Analysis, submits “The Enemy of Hegemony is My Friend: Pakistan’s de facto ‘Alliance’ with China” [PDF]. Key excerpt:
“China has always been Pakistan’s most important strategic ally,2 and the intensity of Pakistan’s relationship with the United States has always been a subset of Pakistan’s all-consuming strategic calculus about India… For the United States to achieve a true strategic partnership with Pakistan, it must share Pakistan’s posture toward India. It follows, then, that subduing India also demands acquiescing in China’s ultimate hegemony in Asia. In reassessing America’s grand strategy in South Asia, the United States must first reassess its global “grand strategy.” If America can live with an Asia under Chinese hegemony, and with a crippled India, then America can have Pakistan’s enthusiastic partnership against the Taliban. Decisions like this are, as they say, above my pay grade.”
July 22/11: Training. L-3 Communications’ Link Simulation and Training division in Arlington, TX receives a $20.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for 1 aircrew training system (ATS) to support Pakistan air force F-16 pilot training. Work will be performed at Arlington, Texas, overseen by ASC/WNSK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, on behalf of their Pakistani FMS client. Both simulators, scheduled for delivery in 2013, will be installed and networked at the PAF’s Shahbaz Air Base.
The ATS consists of 2 upgraded F-16 ATS devices with an 18 panel “simusphere” for 360 degree viewing: a new F-16A Block 15/52 ATS; and a less flexible new F-16C Block 52 ATS. The contract also includes 21 months contractor logistics support (12 months on-site and 9 months on-call); common ATS Block 15 and Block 52 software load; high fidelity cockpit; 360 horizontal X250; version MMC 7000 hardware and software; geo-specific database of Pakistan with high resolution features; full simulation of the APG-68v9 radar with digital radar land mass simulation; full weapons simulation incl. Maverick missile, targeting pod, and JHMCS helmet mounted sights; threat environment A-G and spot jamming simulation; emergency procedures and malfunctions simulation; and an instructor-operator station to make pilots’ lives difficult in pre-planned ways. Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Pakistan’s The Nation.
July 20/11: EW. Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp. in Atlanta, GA received a $9.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee Foreign Military Sales contract to integrate ITT’s AN/ALQ-211v9 AIDEW pod and software into Pakistan’s existing AN/ALQ-213 [PDF] countermeasures set from Terma. The ALQ-213 CMS electronic warfare suite provides centralized control/resources management of the F-16s’ defensive suites, so the pod and CMS controller need to work together.
Work will be performed in Atlanta, GA, and is expected to be complete by July 2014. The ESG/PKS DTIC at Offutt AFB, NB, manages the contract on behalf of its FMS client (HC1047-05-D-4000).
July 19/11: The US GAO releases report #GAO-11-786R: “Pakistan Assistance: Relatively Little of the $3 Billion in Requested Assistance is Subject to State’s Certification of Pakistan’s Progress on Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Issues“.
July 9/11: After the USA finds and kills Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan’s intelligence agency murders a journalist and expels American military trainers. In response, the USA delays and may cancel about $800 million in military aid and equipment, or about 40% of its annual total.
US officials say that the F-16s are unaffected. Instead, the blockage involves about $300 million to reimburse Pakistan for some of the costs of deploying more than 100,000 soldiers along the Afghan border, hundreds of millions of dollars in training assistance and military hardware like rifles, ammunition, body armor and bomb-disposal gear that were part of the expelled training effort, and items like radios, night-vision goggles and helicopter spare parts, where Pakistan has denied visas to the American personnel needed to operate the equipment. Less double-dealing with terrorists would reportedly free up this aid, but Pakistan’s response is that they’ll rely on China to make up the gap. ABC News | CBS News | NY Times.
July 5/11: EW. ITT Systems Corp. in Clifton, NJ receives a not to exceed $49.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for the ALQ-211v9 AIDEW Pod, which was picked as the electronic countermeasures choice for Pakistan’s new F-16C/D Block 52s, and is also on the list for its upgraded F-16s. This award fits the new fighter order, and includes 18 pods, 4 pod shells, 2 antenna coupler sets, 2 lab test benches, associated data, and systems software and support equipment.
Work will be performed at Clifton, N.J. This contract is a Foreign Military Sales requirement for Pakistan, managed by the WR-ALC/GRWKBat Robins Air Force Base, GA (FA8540-11-C-0012). See also June 26/08 entry.
May 1/11: Osama Bin Killed. Osama Bin Laden is killed in a US Navy SEAL raid, which happens without notifying Pakistan. As a result, Osama is actually present in Abbottabad when the SEALs arrive, living comfortably about a mile from Pakistan’s top military college.
Osama Bin Laden
March 1/11: Aviation Week reports that Pakistan is in negotiations with the U.S. to get more Lockheed Martin F-16s over and above the 63 currently in service (18 F-16C/D Block 52, 45 F-16A/B Blocck 15OCU that will be upgraded). No numbers have been specified, by Pakistani officials see it as part of a dual-track strategy that will also include more spending on domestic projects like the JF-17 Thunder, to improve Pakistan’s own manufacturing capacity.
At present, PAF Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman says that 4 F-16A/Bs went to the USA for technical verification inspections and upgrade kit development, and the 1st 3 F-16A/Bs are now undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). All of Pakistan’s F-16s are expected to be upgraded by 2013-2014. At present, no systems exist that would bridge the F-16 and JF-17 fleets, but Air Chief Marshall Suleman says that Pakistan intends to eventually field a supplementary datalink, which would work alongside the Link 16 systems carried by the F-16s.
The comments come as the Pakistani military is also discussing a deal to buy Chinese submarines as a supplement to their French Agosta-class boats, as an intended prelude to joint submarine development. These plans are all being made against a backdrop of a serious domestic insurgency and widespread flooding damage, which have combined to create over 1 million internal refugees, and threaten the government’s medium term ability to maintain control of the country. Even as the state is very obviously fraying in other ways.
Jan 20/11: DB-110. Goodrich Corporation of Chelmsford, MA receives a $71.9 million contract for 5 DB-110 Pods, 2 datalink upgrades to existing pods, 2 fixed ground stations, 1 mobile ground station, and 4 ground station datalink receiver kits, plus initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports Pakistani F-16 aircraft. At this time, $17.3 million has been committed by the ASC/WINK at Wright-Patterson Air Force, OH on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (FA8620-11-C-3006).
The DB-110 reconnaissance pod offers day and night capabilities, and has been ordered by a number of F-16 customers, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and the UAE. DB-110s were not mentioned in the DSCA upgrade requests, but they are clearly part of that effort now. Reports indicate that installations began in June 2010; this is apparently a follow-on order. A Jan 12/11 US FedBizOpps solicitation for associated imagery analysis training is a useful reminder that buying the pods is not enough to field a useful capability. See also Aviation Week re: DB-110.
F-16 MLU kits ordered; New F-16s all delivered; AMRAAM missiles begin delivery; Pakistani pilots receiving American training again.
Dec 13/10: Delivery. The last batch of 6 F-16 Block 52s arrive a bit early at Shahbaz AB, after a stop over at Lajes Field, Azores. This finishes the 18-plane order, though 1 of the planes remains behind in the USA for testing. F-16.NET, “Pakistan receives last batch of F-16 combat jets”.
New F-16 deliveries complete
Nov 20/10: Delivery. Another 6 new F-16 Block 52s land at the Shahbaz airbase near Jacobabad, in Pakistan’s Sindh province. That makes 12 so far, and another batch of 6 F-16 C/D Block 52s are expected to arrive in December 2010, to finish the initial 18-plane order. Pakistan’s DAWN | Associated Press of Pakistan | Daily Times | The Nation | Pak Tribune | IANS.
Oct 30/10: Delivery. Another 3 new F-16 Block 52 aircraft are handed over at an induction ceremony at Shahbaz Air Base near Jacobabad, Pakistan. This is the 2nd batch of new F-16s delivered, and all 18 fighter aircraft are expected to arrive by January 2012.
In addition to the delivery of these new aircraft, the U.S. is working with the PAF to update 45 F-16s from its existing fighter fleet through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing security assistance program. The first batch of updated F-16s is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan in early 2012. US CENTCOM.
July 27/10: Weapons. The Press Trust of India reports that the first AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles have arrived in Pakistan, and will equip the new F-16C/D block 52s. PTI.
June 24/10: The Pentagon announces that it will deliver the first 3 new F-16 Block 52s in Pakistan on June 26/10, with the other 15 arriving during 2010-2011. USAF Maj. Todd Robbins, the the office of the undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs’ Pakistan country director, is quoted saying that Pakistan is paying $1.4 billion for the 18 new F-16 Block 52s. They’re also paying $1.3 billion for upgrades to its existing F-16 fleet, which are to begin delivery in 2012.
The new F-16s will add night, all-weather, and precision-attack capabilities, and Pakistani pilots have been training at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, including night-attack training. The PAF recently completed training for 4 instructors and 5 flight leads (q.v. May 5/10 entry). The US Embassy in Islamabad later cited June 27/10 as the day of the formal induction ceremony.
Beyond the F-16s, the USA has provided over $4 billion in assistance over the last 3 years. The USA and Pakistan are working to address the current deficit of trust, which has begun to repair itself since Pakistan’s government became more serious about fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. In March 2010, the United States and Pakistan held their first ministerial-level strategic dialogue in Washington, DC, co-chaired by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi. High-level officials from both governments participated in the dialogue, including Secretary of Defense Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Follow-up meetings took place in Pakistan in early June 2010.
Deliveries, costs, and alliance concerns
June 14/10: A report in India’s Samay Live says that Pakistan will face strict monitoring of its new F-16s, and quotes United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake. Samay Live states that:
“Sources said the US Air Force personnel will arrive during the delivery of the F-16s and supervise not only the air base where they will be deployed but also the operations carried out by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Though the jets will be flown by PAF pilots, the logistics, management and control of the F-16s will be with the US personnel. The  Block 50/52 model F-16 jets equipped with latest missiles will arrive at the Shahbaz Airbase in Jacoabad in the last week of June…”
Readers are cautioned that this description may be an overstatement or misunderstanding of normal support and inspection provisions; without a firm statement from an identifiable individual, it’s hard to tell.
May 21/10: F-16 MLU. Lockheed Aeronautics in Fort Worth, TX receives a $325.5 million contract to develop, integrate and deliver 53 F-16 upgrade kits: 35 mid-life upgrade kits for Pakistani F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft, and 18 retrofit kits for Pakistani F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft.
At this time, $121.2 million has been committed by the 312th AESG/SYK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, who manages these efforts on Pakistan’s behalf (FA8615-07-C-6032).
53 F-16 upgrade kits
May 4/10: Training. Eight Pakistani F-16 A/B pilots graduate from training at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, flying US Air National Guard F-16 C/D Block 25s. They are the first Pakistani pilots to train in the United States since 1983. Their training involves 2 1/2 months reviewing military aviation terminology at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, TX; 7 months of flight training at Tucson International Airport, including a transition course, flight lead upgrade training, and instructor pilot certification; and 2 weeks of additional F-16 Block 52 instruction. The schedule was compressed, and the pilots flew 5 flights per week, instead of the usual 3.
Pakistani air force Wing Commander Ghazanfar Latif cited to the ability to run precision engagements and attack at night as key difference from the F-16 he’s been flying for the last 12 years, capabilities that can lower collateral damage. The flip side was cited by Squadron Leader Yasir Malik: the need to manage and prioritize all that additional information from the radar, datalinks, and other sensors, which was a key part of their training. Their instructors in this effort included USAF flight commander Maj. Windy Hendrick, and her compatriots in the 162nd Fighter Wing. USAF.
2008 – 2009
US handing over 14 used F-16s as part of the MLU program; 1st new PAF F-16 Block 52 unveiled; F100-PW-229 upgrade packages begin delivery.
Nov 16/09: Engines. Pratt & Whitney announces that they have delivered the first F100-PW-229 Engine Enhancement Package (EEP) engine to Pakistan, for installation in their F-16 aircraft. The engine program, which appears to be about upgrades, is valued at approximately $150 million, and is scheduled for delivery in 2009 and 2010.
The F100-PW-229 EEP is the latest evolution of the F100 engine family, with features designed to reduce scheduled engine maintenance by up to 30%, by extending the depot inspection interval from 4300 – 6000 TACs.
Oct 13/09: Unveiling. Lockheed Martin unveils the first of 18 new PAF F-16s in ceremonies at its Fort Worth, TX facility. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Quamar Suleman accepted the F-16D Block 52 aircraft on behalf of his nation, as the first delivery of the “Peace Drive I” order. It will be delivered to the US government for transfer in December 2009, with the remainder of the order following in 2010. See also Flight International, which has video.
July 29/08: Pakistan’s request to transfer 2/3 of its anti-terrorism aid to fund its F-16 program meets strong resistance from the US Congress.
June 28/08: Used F-16s. In a ceremony at Mushaf Air Base in Pakistan, Acting Commander of US Central Command, Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, hands over 4 “excess defense article” F-16 fighters from the USAF to Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed. The US DSCA release says that:
“F-16s continue to hold a special place in the U.S. – Pakistani security relationship. The four EDA aircraft are part of a larger package of 14 aircraft. With the most recent delivery, the USAF has transferred eight aircraft to Pakistan. Another four EDA F-16 aircraft are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on 28 July 2008. The final two aircraft are part of the Pakistan Mid-Life Update program and will arrive in Pakistan in December 2011. The entire F-16 program for Pakistan includes the purchase of eighteen F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, MLU for 46 aircraft, and a munitions package that includes AMRAAM, JDAM, and Enhanced Paveway guidance kits.”
MLU: 14 more US F-16s
June 26/08: EW. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF format] Pakistan’s official request for 21 AN/ALQ-211v9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) Pods, plus software support, repair and return, spare and repair parts, support equipment, technical assistance, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $75 million.
The ALQ-211 based Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS) integrates digital radar warning receivers and advanced jamming countermeasures systems against radar-based threats, including modern surface-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems. It can be carried on a pod, as Pakistan is doing, or internally as the AN/ALQ-211v4. Pakistan intends to purchase the AIDEWS pods to enhance its existing F-16 fighter aircraft, and create fleet commonality with its new F-16 Block 50/52 aircraft. See also our March 19/08 entry; the original DSCA bulletin for mid-life upgrades had mentioned AN/ ALQ-131 or AN/ALQ-148 pods instead.
The principal contractor will be ITT Corporation of Clifton, NJ. Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Pakistan involving U.S. Government and ITT representatives for technical reviews, support, and program management over a period of up to 15 years.
June 4/08: Delivery. The Associated Press of Pakistan reports that Pakistan has already received 2 refurbished F-16s, and is due to receive 4 more in June and another 4 in July, bringing the total to 10.
April 18/08: F-16s. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics of Fort Worth, TX received a modified contract for $31.5 million, covering one-time engineering activity for aircraft production program changes for the Peace Drive I (Pakistan) program for foreign military sales F-16 Block 52M aircraft. At this time $15.75 million has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6031, P00005).
April 18/08: F-16s. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics of Fort Worth, TX received a modified firm fixed price contract for $27 million, covering one-time engineering activity for developmental support equipment and country standard technical order for the Peace Drive I (Pakistan) Program for foreign military sales F-16 Block 52M aircraft. At this time $13.5 million has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6031, P00004).
March 19/08: EW. ITT Avionics of Clifton, NJ received a modified firm fixed price contract for $78.2 million for Foreign Military Sales of the ALQ-211v4 Advanced Integrated Defense Electronics Warfare system to the country of Pakistan, for use on the F-16 aircraft being procured under separate acquisition by the F-16 program office. The contract also includes associated spares, support equipment, training, engineering services, and flight test support and data, and $39 million has been obligated so far. Robins AFB, GA issued the contracts (FA8523-07-C-0008-PZ0001).
The DefenseLINK announcement was wrong in several respects. It has been corrected above, and Robins AFB’s PA office offers further background, which connects it to the overlapping March 30/07 announcement:
“Contract FA8523-07-C-0008 was awarded in March 2007 to ITT in Clifton NJ. The obligated funds on the initial contract was $39 mil. The contract was modified in March 2008 to add the additional funds Of $39.2 mil and to definitize all outstanding contract requirements. This was not a new award, the contract was awarded in March 2007.”
2006 – 2007
Letter of Agreement and Orders for 18 F-16s, plus radars; Ancillary buys of AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, Enhanced Paveway III smart bomb kits, Sniper surveillance & targeting pods.
Dec 31/07: F-16s. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics of Fort Worth, TX received a firm-fixed-price contract modification for $498.2 million, covering Foreign Military Sales of 12 new F-16C Block 52 and 6 new 2-seat F-16D Block 52 new aircraft to Pakistan.
At this time, $497.6 million has been obligated. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6031-P0002), which brings total spending on Pakistan’s new F-16s and required items to about $755 million, or about $42 million per fighter.
F-16s: first 18
Dec 14/07: Weapons. Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, AZ received a firm fixed price contract for $161.3 million, covering add-ons that turn various kinds of bombs into laser/GPS dual-guidance precision weapons.
This action provides 300 miscellaneous unit air foil groups, 300 miscellaneous armament unit enhanced computer control groups, 1,298 weapon guidance unit computer control groups, 1,300 stabilizing and retarding unit air foil groups, 600 global positioning system adapter kits, 1 lot enhanced Paveway III and test equipment spares, 1 lot enhanced Paveway II, 700 certain adapter groups, 6 readiness test set, 6 bomb tool kits, 3 lots of enhanced Paveway tool sets, 3 each common munitions bit/reprogramming equipment adapter kits, 1 each mission planning software, 1 lot DATA. This effort supports foreign military sales to Pakistan. At this time $75.7 million has been obligated. The 784th Combat Sustainment Group (AFMC) at Hill Air Force Base, UT issued the contract (FA8213-08-C-0028).
Enhanced Paveways use a combination of laser and GPS/INS guidance. The laser designator offers better accuracy, and is compatible with targeting pods like Pakistan’s forthcoming Sniper ATPs. GPS/INS benefits include the ability to function through fog, dust storms, clouds, smoke, or other obscurants, and can be employed in the absence of a laser designator as long as Global Positioning System coordinates are available for the target.
April 27/07: Sniper ATP. Pakistan orders 22 of Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods under a $54.6 million firm-fixed-price contract. Since Raytheon’s ATFLIR is only integrated with F/A-18s, and Northrop Grumman’s LITENING AT is a joint development with Israel’s RAFAEL, the choice is not surprising. Sniper pods have also been referred to as PANTERA pods in the past. See “Pakistan Joins List of Sniper ATP Customers” for more.
March 30/07: EW. ITT Avionics in Clifton, NJ received a $78 million firm-fixed-price and time and materials contract for “Foreign Military Sales of the AN/ALQ-173 (V) advanced integrated defense electronics warfare to the country of Pakistan.” Associated spares, support equipment, training, engineering services, flight test support and data are also being acquired. Solicitations began February 2007, negotiations were complete March 2007, and work will be complete January 2010. The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA issued the contract (FA8523-07-C-0008).
Oddly enough, the AN/ALQ-173 was not among the many internal ECM alternatives listed in the official US DSCA announcements.
Dec 5/06: F-16s. Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, TX received a $144 million firm-fixed-price and time and materials contract for 12 operational single place F-16C Block 52 aircraft and 6 operational two place F-16D Block 52+ aircraft.
This will begin readying materials to manufacture the aircraft, and $78.4 million has been obligated at this time. Aircraft purchases will be accomplished under the firm-fixed price portion of the contract, and work will be complete by November 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6031).
Nov 17/06: Weapons. Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ received a $269.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, exercising an option to purchase 500 AIM-120C5 AMRAAM missiles and rehost on behalf of Pakistan (100%). Work will be complete April 2011. The Headquarters Medium Range Missile System Group at Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract (FA8675-05-C-0070/P00028).
F-16s: first 18
Nov 15/06: Radars. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Linthicum Heights, MD received half of a $99.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for “government furnished property for the Government of Pakistan” under the F-16 Block 50/52 new aircraft and modernization program. “The procurement of 54 AN/APG-68 (V)9 Radar Systems will be accomplished under the firm-fixed-price portion of the contract.” A Jan 10/07 Northrop Grumman release clarifies: this order is for 52 systems (18 new + 34 upgrade kits), with a 44 radar option to follow (18 new + 26 upgrade kits).
Oct 2/06: LoA. India Defence reports that Pakistan and USA have signed a letter of acceptance for these deals, following a Sept 30/06 ceremony in Rawalpindi were Pakistan’s military is headquartered. It said that the United States will supply 18 new F-16 aircraft, as well as an unspecified number of upgraded second-hand F-16s. Previous reports have said the number of second hand aircraft Pakistan was considering buying was 36, which would make for 18 of each.
India Defence adds that “Both sides had expected to wrap up the deal a month earlier, but negotiations dragged on because of strings Washington wanted attached.” The USA has clear concerns regarding technology transfer from the F-16s or associated weapons it sells to 3rd countries like China, which has close military ties with Pakistan. While the US was reluctant to discuss details, Assistant Secretary of State for political-military affairs John Hillen was more open with Congress on July 20/06.
In his testimony to the House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee, Hillen reportedly said that the United States was withholding unspecified technologies “that would usually go with an F-16,” including ones that would let it “be used in offensive ways to penetrate air space of another country that was highly defended”. It added that Pakistan’s F-16 fleet and its munitions would be segregated from aircraft supplied by other countries, so that unauthorized engineers could not get access to the U.S.-made planes, and that U.S. personnel would carry out inventories of the F-16s and their associated systems every 6 months. There had even been a proposal that F-16 flights outside Pakistani air space, including for exercises with other countries, would have to be approved by the U.S. government in advance. It is not clear whether this requirement ever got beyond the proposal stage.
As part of the deal, the USA also reportedly agreed to deliver 26 of the “Peace Gate III/IV” F-16A/B Block 15OCUs that had been ordered in 1988-1989, then embargoed when Pakistan tested nuclear weapons. The planes had been diverted for use as aggressor combat training aircraft by USAF and the US Navy. Source.
Letter of Agreement
July 20/06: Here’s the first concerned speech from an opposed Congressman: Eliot Engel [D-NY], citing Pakistan’s support for terrorism in India. Mr Engel is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, and was one of the first Members of Congress to come out in favor of the proposed India-US nuclear energy deal. He’ll be making his views public at the July 20, 2006 House International Relations Committee hearing on the Pakistan sales – and that meeting will tell us if opposition to the deal has real traction.
Appendix A: Potential Controversies (July 2006)
The DSCA has said that “Release of this system would not significantly reduce India’s quantitative or qualitative military advantage.” India disagrees, and military experts in Delhi will likely note that the same equipment (GPS, targeting pods, bunker-busters) that could potentially find uses against al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan’s “lawless frontier” could also be used in precision strikes on India’s military facilities in the event of war.
The DSCA counters that release of the F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft to Pakistan “will neither affect the regional balance of power nor introduce a new technology as this level of capability or higher already exists in other countries in the region.” India does operate more advanced SU-30MKI aircraft with R-77 “AMRAAMski” missiles, advanced avionics, et. al.; these are superior in range, armament, and maneuverability to Pakistan’s F-16s, and will remain so. Meanwhile, India’s $7-10 billion MRCA competition is certain to introduce 125-200 aircraft that are certain to be more advanced than the F-16 Block 50/52.
The US DSCA adds in its submission to Congress that “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 operations contributing to the GWOT (Global War On Terror).” The DSCA also cites the June 2004 designation of Pakistan as a Major Non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ally in its submission. The British commander of NATO’s ISAF force in Southern Afghanistan sees Pakistan’s role in a rather different light, however; he recently noted that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is still run out of Pakistan (specifically Quetta), with Pakistani knowledge and even support from Islamist elements in its security apparatus. Ah, the dynamics of counter-insurgency in tribal societies. Pakistan angrily denies this, of course.
India’s objections to this sale have been muted thus far, and phrased carefully to emphasize their effect on India-Pakistan ties rather than India-US ties. Meanwhile, President Bush’s personal diplomacy approach has fostered a strong relationship with Gen. Musharraf that is inclined to view such requests favorably as part of the USA’s 3-corner balancing act in the region. Barring unusual circumstances, therefore, it’s reasonable to expect this sale to go through with little more than a concerned speech or two in Congress.
December 2007 Update
The sale did go through with little more than concerned speeches in Congress, though there have been ongoing efforts to pressure the Pakistani government via threats of delayed or canceled weapon sales, due in large part to the security situation across the de facto line of government/ al-Qaeda control in western Pakistan.
The Benazir Bhutto assassination, and the strong likelihood that the Bhuttos’ PPP party will ascend to power following the coming Pakistani election, is also likely to remove some of the pressure the US Congress has been placing on Pakistan. In the short term, a delay in the elections could result in symbolic weapons sales delays until elections are held, while construction of the F-16s et. al. continues for delivery after that date anyway. Once those elections are held, a combination of sympathy and diplomatic imperatives are likely to mute further resistance to weapons sales in the US Congress.
It is less clear whether Asif Ali Zardari “Mr. 10%” Bhutto’s ascension to power will successfully address that country’s ongoing civil war – and what that would mean in a year or two, when the jets are due to be delivered.
Readers with corrections or information to contribute are encouraged to contact editor Joe Katzman. We understand the industry – you will only be publicly recognized if you tell us that it’s OK to do so.
Background: The PAF & Its F-16s
- Pakistan Air Force. Official web site.
- Wikipedia – Pakistan Air Force.
- F-16.NET – Pakistan Fiza’ya/ Pakistan Air Force – PAF. The wider site is also good source for distinguishing the F-16’s wide array of variants, and what that means re: an aircraft’s capabilities.
- F-16.NET – F-16 ADF. Block 15OCU.
- F-16.NET – F-16C/D Block 50/52.
- DID FOCUS – JHMCS: Fighter Pilots’ “Look & Shoot” Helmets Changing Aerial Warfare
- DID FOCUS – AMRAAM: Deploying & Developing America’s Medium-Range Air-Air Missile.
- Pratt & Whitney – F100 Engine
- DID – Pakistan & China’s JF-17 Fighter Program. The F-16’s counterpart in the future PAF, which may also include the more advanced Chinese J-10B/”JF-20.”
- US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (July 26/11) – The Enemy of Hegemony is My Friend: Pakistan’s de facto ‘Alliance’ with China [PDF]. By China Business Intelligence President John J. Tkacik, at hearings on “Reassessing American Grand Strategy in South Asia.”
- GAO (July 19/11, #GAO-11-786R) – Pakistan Assistance: Relatively Little of the $3 Billion in Requested Assistance is Subject to State’s Certification of Pakistan’s Progress on Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Issues
- DID (June 30/08) – US GAO Criticizes [US] CSF Aid to Pakistan.
News & Views
- The Hindu (July 12/11) – Behind the Pakistan F-16 deal, a tale of many wheels. WikiLeaks!
- Real Clear World (June 20/11) – Why the U.S. Still Needs Pakistan. By STRATFOR CEO George Friedman.
- Foreign Policy (Feb 3/11) – The U.S.-Pakistan F-16 fiasco. Describes the broader history of relations, including the embargo imposed on a large F-16 order in the 1990s.
- Inside Defense, via Military.com (July 6/06) – Pakistan In Line for Massive Arms Deal. Points out that if the entire DSCA request is granted, Pakistan doesn’t have 60 F-16s to upgrade.
Tags: pakistanf-16, pakf-16