Skip to comments.US plan to upgrade Pakistan’s F-16s worries India
Posted on 07/27/2008 12:23:25 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick
Indian official says Islamabad could use F-16s against New Delhi
NEW DELHI: The Indian defence establishment is concerned by the United States decision to divert $230 million in aid to Pakistan from counter-terrorism programmes to upgrading its F-16 fighter jets.
Acquisition of new airborne capabilities by Pakistan is definitely a matter of concern for India since its always primarily directed at us. If the US thinks Pakistan will only use its upgraded F-16s for counter-terrorism operations, it is sadly mistaken, Times of India quoted a top Indian defence official as saying on condition of anonymity.
Indias Western Air Command (WAC) chief Air Marshal PK Barbora, in turn, said, Every country does what it thinks is needed for its defence requirements. The question is what is going to be given to Pakistan with the F-16 upgrade programme.
The Bush administration says Pakistans F-16s will be upgraded with advanced targeting, precision-guided munitions and radar systems to improve their capability to attack terrorist targets along the volatile Afghan border.
This upgrade programme of 30 of the original 40 F-16s acquired by Pakistan between 1983 and 1987 comes after Washington also agreed to sell Islamabad 18 to 25 new F-16 variants armed with a wide array of advanced missiles.
Moreover, Pakistan will begin inducting the first lot of the planned 250 JF-17 Thunder fighters from China by the end of 2008. We obviously have to keep a close watch on this. Fighters are weapons of war, not counter-terrorism, said another Indian officer.
But even as the Indian Air Force (IAF) grapples with a steady downturn in the number of fighter squadrons - down to just 32 from the sanctioned strength of 39.5 - it is not too worried at the developments. We have our own plans of new acquisitions and upgrades of existing fleets to boost our defence preparedness, said Barbora, whose command is primarily responsible for guarding the skies on the entire western front.
Sources said plans for faster induction of 230 Sukhoi-30MKIs contracted from Russia in deals worth around $8.5 billion are currently under way. They said for instance, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was working towards completing its licensed production of 140 Sukhois by 2013-14 instead of 2017-18 as previously planned.
Sources said India planned to upgrade 125 MiG-21 Bisons and around 100 MiG-27s and Jaguars with new weapons and avionics packages. They said India had also signed a $964 million deal with Russia to refit its 63 MiG-29s, adding that a similar deal was in the pipeline with France for IAFs 51 Mirage-2000s. online
Terrorists active in India and Afghanistan bombing and killing.
And what country is in between them?
Worries me also... I do not understand giving advanced weapon systems to Muslim and potential enemies (depending upon who is in charge). Reminds me of Iranian times...
Some kind of deal struck between the U.S. and Pakistan. I wonder what we’re supposed to receive in return.
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