First Pakistani F-16s Set for Delivery

The Air Force expects to deliver the first three of the Pakistani air force’s new F-16 fighters to Pakistan on Saturday. “This is the most visible part of a strong and growing relationship between the two air forces,” Maj. Todd Robbins, Pakistan country director in USAF’s international affairs office, told American Forces Press Service in an interview. Pakistan is receiving 18 new F-16 Block 52 aircraft off of Lockheed Martin’s production line under a $1.4 billion foreign military sale. The remaining 15 aircraft will be delivered later this year and into 2011. Pakistan already operates older model F-16s. The new fighters will give Pakistan day-night, all-weather, precision-attack capabilities to counter violent extremists within its borders. The Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing has been training Pakistani F-16 pilots in Tucson, Ariz., to fly the new version. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel and Donna Miles)