Washington: Since the September 11, 2001 terror attack, the US has given Pakistan arms worth about $5.4 billion for counter-terrorism operations, along with many “big ticket” platforms more suited to conventional warfare.
Sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for nearly half of these Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan, according to a report by Congressional Research Service for lawmakers.
India has time and again opposed the sale of such equipment to Pakistan as it apprehends that Islamabad may eventually use them against India.
In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, although US grants have eclipsed these in recent years, CRS said.
Congress, it noted, has appropriated about $3.6 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Pakistan since 2001, more than two-thirds of which has been disbursed.
These funds are used to purchase US military equipment for longer-term modernization efforts. Pakistan also has been granted US defence supplies as Excess Defence Articles (EDA).
In April 2015, the State Department approved a possible $952 million FMS deal with Pakistan for 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire II missiles, along with helicopter engines, avionics, training, and support.
Under Coalition Support Funds (in the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412EP utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million.
For counterinsurgency operations, the US has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another 6 were provided temporarily at no cost), 4 King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps and 20 Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, the CRS report said.
Through International Military Education and Training and other programs, the US has funded and provided training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers, report noted,
Major post-2001 defence supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF include:
- eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at $474 million, four delivered, three of which were destroyed in a 2011 attack by Islamist militants);
- at least 5,750 military radio sets ($212 million);
- 2,007 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million);
- six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million);
- six C-130E Hercules transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million);
- the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, via special EDA authorization ($65 million for refurbishment; now the PNS Alamgir);
- 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA ($48 million for refurbishment, 12 delivered); and
- 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles ($30 million). Supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF include:
- up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft (valued at $891 million, with $477 million of this in FMF; Pakistan has purchased
- 45 such kits, with all upgrades completed to date); and
- 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers ($87 million, with $53 million in FMF). Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include:
- 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion);
- F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs ($629 million);
- 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million);
- 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million); and
- seven Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million). Major articles transferred via EDA include:
- 14 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon combat aircraft;
- 59 T-37 Tweet military trainer jets; and
- 374 M113 armoured personnel carriers.