The US has decided that it will upgrade the fighter jet F-16 with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). There has been no response from the Government of India on this decision of America so far. This decision was announced by the US on Wednesday. The PAF has three F-16 squadrons and a total of 65 jets. These jets are also known as Fighting Falcons. US President Joe Biden and his administration want Pakistan’s counter-terrorism capabilities to increase. It is not yet known whether the US had informed India of this decision or not.
Abhinandan did a lot
This move of America can be a bad news for India. After the Balakot airstrike in the year 2019, Pakistan Air Force jets had infiltrated in Jammu and Kashmir. At that time there was a befitting reply from India. Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a Pakistani F-16 with his MiG-21.
This decision of America can affect the squadron capability of Rafale with the Indian Air Force. Pakistan’s newspaper The Dawn has written that the American official was asked how will he face the criticism from India that he may have to face after this step? To this the official said that the relations between India and America stand on their own and do not stick to any resolution.
What will be included in the upgrade
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon, the upgrade of the F-16 is to increase the capability of the engine and electronic warfare. Apart from this, the targeting of its platform and electronic warfare pods, after which this jet will not only be able to conduct non-stop electronic reconnaissance but will also be able to play roles like communication and radar jamming. Also, the fighter’s software, including some more classified and non-classified, will also be upgraded. The Pakistan Air Force has received a package of $ 450 million through the US Foreign Military Sales route. In this, support was also given for the F-16, but in this help, new capabilities such as weapons were not provided to the fighter jet.
FATF team did a secret tour of Pakistan, will the country come out of the gray list?
how much impact on india
If India’s defense experts are to be believed, after this upgrade from the US, the capability of the F-16 will increase, which was not having any importance for India for the last few years. But he believes the whole process is more than just the make-up for the aging F-16. After this, the operational capabilities of the PAF will be much higher than that of the Indian Air Force. The IAF is already troubled by the shrinking number of fighter squadrons.
Why was the decision taken
Daniel Markey, Adviser for South Asia Affairs at the US Institute of Peace, told Dawn that the $450 million package was an urgent decision that was taken due to technical requirements. Its purpose was to keep the F-16 operational. He also said that after this the relationship between America and Pakistan will be better once again. Both the countries will be able to work together on common interests in the times to come. On the other hand, if the experts of Pakistan in America are to be believed, then this help is not for free. This decision has been taken as part of a step that includes an initiative to change political, diplomatic and security relations with other countries.
What will Bajwa do?
Zawahiri’s death reward
According to Christine Fair, professor of security at Georgetown University in Washington, the US has rewarded Pakistan with a $450 million package for the death of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. On July 31, Zawahiri was killed by the US military in a drone strike in Kabul. Before Zawahiri’s death, Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, Director General of Pakistan Intelligence Agency ISI, visited the US in May.
Biden changed Trump’s decision
In the 1980s, Pakistan got F-16 jets from America. First the Block-15 variant was delivered and then the Block 52 model was delivered to Pakistan in the 1990s. In the year 2018, the then US President Donald Trump stopped the $2 billion security aid to Pakistan. Under this, the F-16 was to be upgraded. Trump took that decision because of the Afghan-Taliban and Haqqani terrorist organizations who do their work from Pakistani soil. He said that Pakistan remains a safe haven for these organizations and because of this, US-led security forces are being attacked in Afghanistan.
India is disappointed
Trump’s successor Biden overturned his decision and Indian military officers are very disappointed by this. This step has been taken at a time when India is trying to buy many types of military hardware from America. This includes 30 MQ Reaper drones as well as 26 Boeing F/A-18 E/ Block III Super Hornet dual engine jets. Eight of these jets are to be deployed on the Indian Navy’s newly commissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. India has purchased US military equipment worth $20 billion since 2001-2002.