Why Does Pakistan Need F-16s to Fight Terror?

Pakistan is looking to buy more F-16s from the United States. There's mounting opposition to such sales as witnessed recently when President Barack Obama approved the sale of just 8 F-16s to the country.

India Lobby:

This decision by the Obama administration's decision triggered the Indian spin machine to go into high gear. The campaign orchestrated by the Indian government included placement of favorable news stories, TV analysts' commentaries, newspaper columns and magazine Op-Eds (including one by Husain Haqqani), think tank reports and speeches by the members of the India Caucus in the US Congress.  They all blatantly toed the Indian line that these 8 F-16s would be used against India, not in Pakistan's ongoing counter-insurgency operations. The biased nature of all of these efforts can be gauged by the following facts that were completely ignored by them:

Damocles Multi-Function Targeting Pod Source: Defense News

1. Pakistan, like the United States elsewhere, has been using F-16s in Operation Zarb e Azb against militants hiding out in Pakistan tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan. The key reason for the choice of F-16s is its sophisticated precision targeting pod that is not available on China-Pakistan jointly developed JF-17 fighter aircraft.

2. There is a huge imbalance in the conventional defense capabilities between India and Pakistan as laid out by GlobalFirePower.com.  It ranks India at number 4 in the world while Pakistan is way down at number 17 in 2016. India's defense spending of $51.1 billion is higher than the defense budgets of much richer nations like France ($50.9 billion), Germany ($47 billion) and Japan ($46 billion), and about 6 times higher than Pakistan's $9 billion, according to SIPRI as reported by the media.

3. India is world's largest importer of sophisticated weapons, including fighter aircraft, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Here's what it says about the import of weapons between 2011 and 2015: India (14 per cent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Viet Nam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent).

I did not see a single piece in the US media supporting Pakistani position in this battle.  It was completely one-sided. They succeeded in forcing a US Senate vote to block the sale. Luckily for Pakistan, Obama administration barely succeeded in overcoming this Indian campaign to do something as trivial as selling just a few F-16s to Pakistan this time.

Precision Targeting Pod:

PAF currently relies heavily on a fleet of about 70 US-made Lockheed Martin F-16s with its Sniper Targeting Pods, which are solely capable of carrying out precision targeting to hit militants while minimizing civilian deaths. However, Pakistan's continuous use of F-16s for precision targeting in FATA is reducing their effective lives as air to air combat aircraft.

The latest version of precision targeting pod being used with F-16s is Sniper XR. In addition Northrup Grumman also supplies an Israeli designed LITENING Pod to some of its customers.

While Pakistan is still pursuing purchase of additional F-16s, the nation is also looking to enhance precision targeting capability of JF-17. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is assessing the French Thales-made Damocles targeting pod for mounting on its JF-17 aircraft, according to Defense News.

Thales has a newer Talios targeting. These systems are being continuously improved with day/night targeting with FLIR sensors, CCD cameras, weapon delivery, target updates, target tracking at altitudes, air speeds and slant ranges consistent with tactical weapon delivery maneuvers.

Pakistan Air Force deputy chief Muhammad Ashfaque Arain is currently visiting France to discuss the acquisition of the Damocles pod. He has been quoted by Reuters as saying, “the Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not. If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven.”

The addition of a precision targeting pod on JF-17 will improve its mission capabilities as well as reduce the burden on F-16. Another reason why Pakistan is seeking these pods is that they are already being integrated to Russian aircraft(s) and will be produced under license in Russia. So there is a path there for JF-17 aircraft integration.

Pakistan is in the process of retiring hundreds of aging fighter aircraft in its fleet, mainly 40-year-old French-made Mirage jet and 25-year-old Chinese-made F-7s, over the next few years. Islamabad has decided to bet on the JF-17 fighter, jointly developed by China and Pakistan, rather than spending billions on fifth-generation multi-role aircraft like Dassault's Rafale, which rival India is buying, or the Russian Su-35.

India's Opposition:

If Pakistan's efforts to acquire French precision target pods make any headway, I fully expect India to mobilize opposition to any deal. India may use its purchase of additional Rafale jet as a lever to get France to end any further discussion of Damocles sale to Pakistan.

Summary:

Pakistan is currently engaged in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the world's largest anti-terror military campaign with over 180,000 ground troops and dozens of aircraft involved in it.  Pakistan's need for F-16s to fight terror is genuine, as is its desire to acquire precision targeting enhancement for JF-17s. Failure to meet Pakistan's need for precision targeting and other related equipment would hamper its ability to win the war against terror along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Spin Machine

Has Modi Stepped Up Proxy War in Pakistan?

India's Israel Envy: What if Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Pakistan Army at the Gates of Delhi

India's War Myths

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan Army Capabilities

Modi's Pakistan Policy

India's Israel Envy

Can India Do a Lebanon in Pakistan?

Views: 413

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 13, 2016 at 9:14am

#US, #India Agree On Small UAVs, High Powered Lasers And Target Detection Technology, Other Joint #Defense Projects

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/15800/US__India_Finalize_Mini_UAVs...

India and US have finalized four government-to-government projects that include small UAVs, high powered lasers and target detection technology.

“US Secretary for Defense Ashton Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parriakr have welcomed finalization of four government-to-government project agreements in the area of science and technology cooperation. Atmospheric sciences for high energy lasers, cognitive tools for Target Detection, Small intelligent UAVs and blast and blunt traumatic brain injury,” the Indo-US joint statement said Tuesday.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 24, 2016 at 10:08am

From Popular Mechanics

India has agreed to buy a slew of advanced fighter jets from France. The deal, worth $8.8 billion, will provide India with 36 Rafale multi-role fighters for a staggering average cost of $244 million each.

The Dassault Rafale was conceived in the early 1980s to be one multi-role fighter that could replace six different fighter and attack aircraft. The plane is almost completely French, with fuselage, avionics, engines and weapons all made in that country. Rafales have flown in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mail and Iraq. France operates 140 Rafales including the Rafale M, a navy version of the fighter featuring strengthened landing gear and a tail hook for use on aircraft carriers.

Although relatively small compared to planes like the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-22 Raptor, Rafale packs a powerful punch. Twelve wing-mounted hard points can carry a combination of air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, sensors, and drop tanks. Despite the fact that the Rafale is now a 30-year-old design, upgrades such as the RBE2 AA active electronic scanning array (AESA) radar, Damocles targeting pod, Meteor air-to-air missiles, and SCALP cruise missiles have kept the design competitive with other so-called "4+ generation" fighters.

Still, $244 million per aircraft is a lot of money. Why does Rafale cost so much? Exchange rates almost certainly play a role. And in addition to the plane itself, there's also a need for support and maintenance equipment and munitions. Part of the problem with Rafale is that aside from Paveway laser-guided bombs, it uses mostly French weapons that are incompatible with the rest of India's stockpile.

India is only the third international customer for Rafale. While the fighter has been on the market for decades, Rafale's first overseas sale happened just recently when Qatar bought 24 planes and Egypt followed shortly thereafter. Rafale will be a strong candidate to replace Canada's aging F/A-18 Hornet fighters when those need to retire.

https://www.yahoo.com/autos/india-buying-expensive-french-fighter-1...

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 3, 2017 at 7:33am

THE OCTOPUS
How a US arms lobby group played both India and Pakistan on the F-16 aircraft

by Ex Sen Larry Pressler

https://qz.com/1092790/how-a-us-lobby-group-played-both-india-and-p...

The manufacturer of the F-16—the massive defence corporation Lockheed Martin—with $47 billion in annual revenue in 2016, also has a labyrinthine lobbying operation. According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database, the company has been spending more than $10 million on it annually since 2006. In addition to their in-house lobbyists, they have amassed an army of outside companies to assist them with their lobbying efforts: law firms, public relations agencies, consultants.
By far the largest amount of Lockheed Martin’s lobbying budget is paid out to the Podesta Group, the powerful firm headed by the super-lobbyist, Tony Podesta. Lockheed Martin paid the group $550,000 in the years 2014, 2015, and 2016. Most of the issues the Podesta Group advocated for on behalf of Lockheed Martin were defence and aerospace issues. It is highly likely that they assisted in the overall effort to push through the sale of F-16s to Pakistan!
In February 2016, the state department and the department of defense announced that they were approving a sale of eight more F-16s to Pakistan, clearly a victory for Lockheed Martin. Under the terms of this new deal, however, the sale of these additional F-16s was to be subsidised by the US government. In a move to make these deals even sweeter, the government sometimes uses what is called Foreign Military Funds (FMFs). FMF is a bucket of taxpayer money that is used to subsidise sales of military equipment to foreign countries.

The Indian government immediately and publicly protested both the sale and the subsidy, causing quite a hiccup for the US government. India’s leaders recognised the jets for what they were: a nuclear-capable force projection that could be used against them. The Indian foreign secretary, S Jaishankar, immediately summoned Richard Verma, the US ambassador to New Delhi, to express his displeasure. And then the Pakistani government publicly feigned surprise over the Indians’ complaints.
The Indian embassy in Washington summarily deployed their army of lobbyists to block the deal. So, who has been lobbying on their behalf since 2010? Once again, the Podesta Group.
According to their FARA filings, the Podesta Group was paid $700,000 by the government of India for work they performed in 2016. Conventional wisdom says that a firm that is representing India cannot very well represent Pakistan at the same time. But in the world of the Octopus, the same firm represents competing interests and it is all legal.

The power and pressure of the Indian embassy’s lobbying firm produced results. A week after the state department’s announcement of the planned subsidised F-16 sale to Pakistan, Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul introduced a joint resolution to halt the sale.

Senator Paul’s resolution was debated on the floor of the senate and a vote was called, but the resolution was scuttled in what is called a “tabling motion.” In a 71 to 24 vote, the Senate voted to “table” the resolution, which effectively killed the effort. Senator Paul received some bipartisan support for this resolution, but not enough.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 17, 2018 at 7:54am

Turkey's Aselsan to supply targeting pods for Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, says report

http://www.janes.com/article/70935/turkey-s-aselsan-to-supply-targe...

Turkish defence company Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract from an overseas customer for the integration of its Aselpod electro-optical targeting pods into aerial platforms, according to a statement published by the Turkish Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on 26 May.

Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract to supply its Aselpod targeting pods for Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, according to Turkish media. (Aselsan)Aselsan has secured a USD24.9 million contract to supply its Aselpod targeting pods for Pakistan's JF-17 fighters, according to Turkish media. (Aselsan)

The announcement was followed two days later by a report by Turkish newspaper Daily Sabahidentifying Pakistan as the customer, and pointing out that this is the second order for the system placed by the South Asian country.

"Aselsan realised the first Aselpod exports last June to Pakistan, which has re-ordered a year later. The said system will be used on the JF-17 aircraft that Pakistan has jointly developed with China," the paper said in an article that was republished by Turkey's Directorate General of Press Information.

In its 2015-2016 yearbook Pakistan's Ministry of Defence Production had listed a USD24.9 million purchase of eight Aselpod targeting pods for the country's JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft.

According to Jane's World Air Forces , the Pakistan Air Force currently operates an estimated 86 JF-17s.

The latest deal between Pakistan and Turkey is yet another indication of the growing defence industrial ties between the two countries. Earlier this month Turkey signed a contract with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra for the procurement of 52 MFI-17 Super Mushshak primary trainers.

At the same time Pakistan's Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Turkish defence engineering firm Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret (STM) for the local construction of four Ada (MILGEM)-class corvettes for the Pakistan Navy.

Both deals were signed on 10 May at the 2017 IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul in a ceremony presided over by Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik and Pakistan's minister for defence production, Tanvir Hussain.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 2, 2018 at 5:15pm

#Pakistan successfully test-fires bvr (beyond visual range) infrared #missile from #JF17 Thunder jet fighter. #PAF #infrared

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1624982/1-pakistan-successfully-test-f...

It was a landmark occasion for Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as well as the whole nation, when the indigenously produced JF-17 Thunder shot down a slow speed target with BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and IR (Infrared) missile with a pin-point accuracy at Sonmiani firing range on Friday.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman witnessed the live demonstration, displaying PAF’s capability to successfully locate and destroy high/ slow speed moving targets by employing high-tech inventory of aircraft and missiles, said a PAF press release.

Addressing the ceremony, the air chief said, “We are thankful to Allah Almighty who has given us the strength to achieve this extraordinary milestone. The successful testing of these sophisticated weapons is a testimony of JF-17 Thunder’s multirole capabilities.”

He said it was a matter of immense pride that six PAF fighter squadrons had already been equipped with the pride of the nation JF-17 Thunder aircraft, making it the backbone of our aerial defence.

The air chief also lauded the hard work put in by PAF and Chinese personnel in making the event a success.

“The day marked a monumental episode in the glorious history of PAF as a state-of-the-art Weapon Test Range has been made operational to track the complete trajectory of the aircraft and launched missiles,” read the press release.

The facility, developed in collaboration with Chinese authorities, is equipped with real time tracking and measuring equipment to qualify the indigenously developed and procured weapon systems.

Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Haseeb Paracha, Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command received the chief guest on his arrival at the venue. High ranking PAF officers along with civil and military officials also witnessed this historic event.

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Why is America So Deeply Involved in the Middle East? Energy? Geography?

    What is the importance of the Middle East for the West? Is it energy resources to fuel the industrialized West? Or the key trade and shipping routes passing through the Persian Gulf and the Suez Canal used by ships to sail from Asia to Europe and North America?…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on January 24, 2020 at 7:39pm — 1 Comment

    GNMI Provides Digital Media Training for Hyderabad Journalists

    A major increase in number of people have access to mobile phones, internet and social media in Pakistan, media has made shift towards digital.

    To introduce digital media techniques …

    Continue

    Posted by Sobia Anjum on January 23, 2020 at 2:30am

    © 2020   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service