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India effect: Pakistan stepping up efforts to upgrade Air Force

Last Updated: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 11:00

Rawalpindi: Pakistan Air Force has come under intense pressure after India stepped up efforts to upgrade its Air Force last year with a major order for fighters made by Rafale.

The most advanced aircraft in the PAF fleet which can match Rafale is the Lockheed Martin made F-16.

Most of the F-16 fleet that the PAF had till early 2000s were Block 32 A and B aircraft purchased in the 1980s, the Express Tribune reports.

In the late 2000s, the US Congress eased restrictions for Pakistan to upgrade their older aircrafts and purchase new Block 52 D and C aircraft.

According to the report, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Tahir Rafiq Butt said that the PAF received its last batch of F-16s recently and even now there are US Congressional clearances available for the provision of additional F-16 aircraft.

Butt said that with F-16s touted as an antiquated weapon in light of fourth generation aircraft being developed by the US, Russia and China, and recent purchases made by India, Pakistan only had the option of purchasing high-tech weapons system, the report added.


First Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 11:00

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