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US approves sales to support Pakistan's F-16s, India's C-17s

A US Air Force F-16 fighter taking part in the US-led Saber Strike exercise flies over Estonia June 6, 2018.  Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Washington Jul 27, 2019, 08.21 AM (IST)

Washington on Friday approved $125 million worth of support for Pakistan's F-16 warplanes, and also $670 worth of support for India's C-17 transport planes.

Approval to support US-built aircraft for the two south Asian rivals were approved by the US State Department, and announced simultaneously by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The approval for technical and logistics support for Pakistan's F-16s comes just days after Prime Minister Imran Khan met with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

The potential sale will support US foreign policy and national security "by protecting US technology through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring," the statement announcing the Pakistan approval read.

Separately, the DSCA said that India asked to buy spare parts and test equipment for their Boeing C-17 transport planes, and is seeking personnel training, among other things, "for an estimated cost of $670 million."

"India needs this follow-on support to maintain its operational readiness and ability to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) assistance in the region. 

"India will have no difficulty absorbing this support into its armed forces," the statement announcing the approval read.

Both statements added that the proposed sales of equipment and support "will not alter the basic military balance in the region."

Story highlights

Approval to support US-built aircraft for the two south Asian rivals were approved by the US State Department, and announced simultaneously by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.