Pak F-16 Bundle Not “A Message To India” Over Its Russia Stand: US

Pakistan’s a long time outdated F-16 jets want key spare components from the US

New Delhi:

The Biden administration’s inexperienced gentle for key spares for Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets “is just not designed as a message to India”, a prime American defence official has mentioned. The earlier Trump administration had blocked the $450 million programme for upkeep of the F-16s, which Pakistan purchased a long time in the past.

On a query by reporters whether or not the F-16 improve and discuss on US-Pakistan defence cooperation was a message to India for its neutrality on Russia, Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defence (Indo-Pacific Safety Affairs), mentioned: “Okay, so, no, completely not. The motion on F-16s is just not designed as a message to India because it pertains to its relationship with Russia. The choice contained in the US authorities across the F-16 situation was made, predicated on US pursuits related to our defence partnership with Pakistan, which is primarily targeted on counterterrorism and nuclear safety.”

India’s defence ties with Russian goes again a number of a long time. A big portion of Indian navy {hardware} has been of Russian-origin, although lately India has purchased US tools and plane.

In a cellphone name final week with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had additionally conveyed India’s considerations over Washington’s choice to offer sustenance bundle for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.

Requested concerning the considerations raised by Mr Singh, Ely Ratner mentioned, “And because the secretary made clear to minister Singh throughout their name final week, this case didn’t embody any upgrades or munitions. And to the primary a part of your query, it’s one which we’ve got been partaking on with our Indian counterparts, each upfront of the announcement, to preview it, and through my go to with Assistant Secretary Lu in Delhi as nicely.”

“So we thought it was fairly necessary to be as clear as we might with Indian counterparts, each upfront and through that call. And it supplied a very good alternative to have a wholesome trade on each the US rationale for its restricted safety partnership with Pakistan, in addition to a very good alternative to listen to India’s considerations about that,” Ely Ratner mentioned.

Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-16, on its web site says the four-decade outdated fighter jet programme which continues to be upgraded has up to now produced 4,500 F-16s for 25 nations. These jets have flown a mixed sorties of over 13 million, Lockheed Martin says.

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