U.S. arms supply to Pakistan on the rise
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 $5.2 billion for the period between FY2002 and 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 armored personnel carriers as Excess Defense Articles in April 2014.
Sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about half of this.
Congress has appropriated more than $3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Pakistan since 2001, more than $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 Defense 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 $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 ($212 million); 2,007 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million); six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million); and six C-130E Hercules transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million).
Other items are the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, via special EDA authorisation ($65 million for refurbishment; now the PNS Alamgir); and 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA ($48 million for refurbishment, of which 12 have been delivered).
Source: Washington, By PTI News (economictimes.indiatimes.com) – 27 March 2014
Photo: The Pakistan Air Force F-16B Fighter Aircraft (Photo by Emin Fındıklı)