Islamabad: Pakistan is looking to purchase more used F-16 fighter aircraft from the US to scale up its air capabilities "because of the disparity with India", it was reported here Thursday.
"We will take as many as they (the US) are willing to give," a diplomatic source told the Dawn in Washington.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multi-role fighter aircraft that can perform a wide variety of military missions.
For fiscal 2009-10, Pakistan budget hiked defence spending to Rs.347 billion. Of this, Rs.343 billion was allocated for the armed forces, Rs.463 million for defence production and Rs.840 million for the defence division.
The US Congress agreed five years back to give Islamabad 28 F-16C/Ds under its excess defence articles initiative. Fourteen of these aircraft have been delivered.
The media report said that some of the aircraft are used for extracting serviceable parts for the existing fleet while those fit for overhauling are made part of the air force.
"Because of the disparity with India, our needs are huge," the diplomatic source was quoted as saying.
"Ideally, we should buy new F-16s but the current economy does not allow us to pay $40-50 million a piece."