Defense analysis shows that Pakistan need more F-16 fighter jets for the assistance in counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations. Same was claimed by the US State Department in February 2016, when the spokesperson Helaena W. White endorsed the efforts and success of Pakistan’s defense forces in counter-terrorism operation plus the effective use of F-16 fighter jets in military operations.
In October 2015 Obama administration was ready to sell eight F 16 jets to Pakistan to strengthen the relationship among both countries and it was also decided in the deal that a prominent amount will be paid by the US.
But now US Congress has used its authority to withhold or dispense the funds by announcing that they are not going to release funds to assist Pakistan in F-16 purchase by showing concern about Pakistan’s commitment to fight against terrorism and nuclear program.
Pakistan’s government has officially shown disappointment over US Congress’ unwillingness to fund the sale of eight F-16 to Pakistan. Pakistan has F-16 of 3rd generation and on the other hand Indian air force already have beyond visual range missile’s (BVR’S) technology and had an agreement with France for thirty six Rafale multi-role combat fighter jets. Therefore the importance of F-16 fighter jets cannot be denied for Pakistan in its ongoing war against terrorism and to counter India’s attack. Although Pakistan asks for eight F-16 to fight against terrorism but US and India believes that Pakistan may use F-16 against India and strengthens his air force.
Now the issue is if US will not agree in future to give F-16 to Pakistan then what will be the Pakistan’s plan? Is it necessary to buy it from US or we have other options? Answer of these questions are Yes, Pakistan have different options. We don’t have to worry about this.
One option is Pakistan should push United States as Obama’s administration is already convincing the US congress and lawmakers to approve the funds for Pakistan so, positive chances are there. And Pakistan’s Governments is also thinking to manage the amount to purchase F-16 fighters for US rather going to ask other countries.
Second option is Pakistan should use the money to upgrade JF-17 Thunder, electronic warfare suits can be purchased from Italy or others. Although the cost will be higher but later on Pakistan don’t have to depend on other countries.
Third option is Pakistan may ask china for J-10 C fighter that can replace the need of F-16. But for this option PAF has to increase its reserve for maintenance of J-10C with other already available fighter planes.
Fourthly, Pakistan have signed a deal with Turkey under which Turkey will modernize and upgrade the available F-16 fighter of Pakistan. So it will improve the current performance of PAF.
Fifth option is PAF has to move on for new birds rather than old F-16, I think we are done with it, we have to understand that the current and future sanctions would be electronic in nature than mechanical.
Pakistan is facing this situation due to its financial crises. Whatever condition Pakistan may choose we should stay strict to it and we should not ignore the Indian interventions in our defense deals with US and other countries.
Our defense forces should go for the temporary increase in aircrafts because in 2021 or 2022 Pakistan can purchase J31 stealth fighter from China which cannot be detected by the radar and is more advance than F-16 and equals to F-35 and F22.
Our government should try to speed up the economical growth of the country to strengthen the defense line of Pakistan.