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US to upgrade Pak's F-16 fighter jets
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May 15, 2007 18:10 IST

The United States has approved Pakistan's request to upgrade a squadron of its old F-16 fighters with advanced targeting equipment to enhance their precision attack capability.

The US government has formally issued permission to Lockeed Martin, the makers of F-16, to install 18 sniper advanced targeting pods in the aircrafts, the Pakistan Observer quoted officials in Islamabad as saying.

The modernisation would take two years and Pakistan Air Force would also get the spares and training under the contract.

PAF wanted the ATP as it demonstrated "exceptional performance" in meeting the requirements, the report said.

Delivery of the equipment will start from next year and PAF will benefit from the sniper ATP's stability and superior imagery, allowing aircrew to perform intelligence, targeting surveillance and reconnaissance missions from extended stand off ranges, it said.

The ATP is extensively used in Iraq and Afghanistan by the US.

Pakistan will be the eighth country to have this specific upgradation for the F-16s.

Other countries include the US, UK, Canada, Norway, Poland, Oman and Belgium. The US is using it for F-15s, F-16s, F-18s, A-10s, B-1 and Harrier GR9 aircrafts, the report said.

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