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US approves $125 Million Worth Foreign Military Sale to Support Pakistan’s F-16 Fighter Jets

US approves $125 Million Worth Foreign Military Sale to Support Pakistan's F-16 Fighter Jets

The US has approved $125 Million Worth Foreign Military Sale to Support Pakistan’s F-16 Fighter Jets

The sale to Pakistan will require the deployment of some 60 contractor representatives, who will “provide 24/7 end-use monitoring” for the country’s US-made fleet of fighter jets, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on Friday. The package will service the Lockheed Martin F-16s delivered to Pakistan as part of the “Peace Drive” program, which includes 12 F-16C jets and 6 F-16D jets.

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.

US officials asserted that the freeze in security assistance to Pakistan on Trump’s direction since January 2018 was still in place and the latest decision would help it in 24×7 end-use monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets in that country as this would require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives there to assist in the oversight of the F-16 programme.

The two regional rivals had their first direct air combat in decades this year.

Pakistan’s fleet of F-16s came into the spotlight in February during a security crisis, in which Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in direct combat for the first time in decades.

New Delhi alleged that Pakistan had used the US-made jets during its retaliatory attack inside an Indian-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region, losing one of them in an interception by the Indian Air Force. If true, it may have violated US arms export terms.

Pakistan denied deploying F-16s for the mission and said it didn’t lose any aircraft.

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