Pakistan gets six more F-16 aircraftBy Awais Saleem, IANS
Saturday, November 20, 2010
ISLAMABAD - Six more block-52 F-16 aircraft reached Pakistan from the US Saturday, raising the number of such fighter jets delivered to the country this year to 12.
The aircraft landed at the Shahbaz airbase near Jacobabad in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
Pakistani pilots were trained by the US Air Force prior to the handing over. These pilots flew the planes into Pakistani airspace.
Earlier, two batches each of three block-52 F-16 aircraft were handed over to Pakistan in June and October this year, while the remaining six are scheduled to reach the country by the end of December 2010.
Senior officials of the Pakistan Air force (PAF) were present at the airbase Saturday on the arrival of the planes. A PAF spokesman later confirmed the arrival of the six new aircraft.
Pakistan had struck a deal with the US for the purchase of 18 block-52 F-16 aircraft in 2008, while 24 F-16 fighter jets, already part of the PAF fleet, will be refurbished to enhance air warfare capacity of the country.
(Awais Saleem can be contacted at [email protected])