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US arms supply to Pakistan rising

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F-16 combat aircraft. A Lockheed Martin photo

WASHINGTON (PTI): US arms supply and fresh military aid to Pakistan has quietly gained momentum in the last one year, Congressional sources have said.

The Pentagon, according to publicly available documents, reports total Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreements with Pakistan worth about USD 5.2 billion for FY2002-FY2012.

The resumption of US military aid to Pakistan is seen as a sign of normalisation of military-to-military ties between the US and Pakistan that had hit rock bottom after the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces in Abbottabad in May 2011.

Sources said the notable developments over the past one year include delivery of 150 additional radio sets, completed upgrades on 35 Pak F-16s, and imminent delivery of 374 M113 armoured personnel carriers as Excess Defence Articles in April 2014.

Sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about half of this.

Congress has appropriated more than USD 3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Pakistan since 2001, more than USD 2 billion of which has been disbursed.

These funds are used to purchase US military equipment for longer-term modernisation efforts.

Pakistan has also been granted US defence supplies as Excess Defence Articles (EDA), said Congressional sources familiar with the issue.

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 USD 474 million, of which four have been delivered and three of which were destroyed in a 2011 attack by Islamist militants).

They also include at least 5,750 military radio sets (USD 212 million); 2,007 TOW anti-armour missiles (USD 186 million); six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars (USD 100 million); and six C-130E Hercules transport aircraft and their refurbishment (USD 76 million).

Other items are the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, via special EDA authorisation (USD 65 million for refurbishment; now the PNS Alamgir); and 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA (USD 48 million for refurbishment, of which 12 have been delivered).

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 USD 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 (USD 629 million).

Major articles transferred via Excess Defence Articles (EDA) include 14 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon combat aircraft; 59 T-37 Tweet military trainer jets; and 374 M113 armoured personnel carriers.

In addition to this, Pakistan is also expected to get a substantial amount of military hardware that the US plans to leave in Afghanistan after its troop drawdown.

Under Coalition Support Funds (in the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412 utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at USD 235 million.

The US has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another 6 were provided temporarily at no cost), four King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps, 20 Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, helicopter spare parts, sophisticated explosives detectors, night vision devices, radios, body armour, helmets, first aid kits, litters, and other individual soldier equipment.

Through International Military Education and Training and other programmes, the US has also funded and provided training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers.

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US  Pakistan  Arms  Pentagon  
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