The United States will by stationing 60 technical personnel in Pakistan to provide technical support services and to ensure 24/7 end use monitoring of its F-16 fighter jets sold to Islamabad.
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of $125 million.
Pakistan requested a continuation of technical support services; US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 program. The total estimated program cost is $125 million.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by protecting US technology through the continued presence of U.S. personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring,” a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 26, 2019 said.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations as part of the Peace Drive F-16 program. The principal contractor is Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC.
Doubts have been raised that Pakistan was using its F-16s in violation of its terms of agreement with the US after their involvement in a skirmish with the Indian Air Force and the finding of a fired AIM-120 AMRAAM missile on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border in Kashmir in February this year.
The Indian side claimed that the AIM-120 missile could have only been fired from an F-16 jet and not the Pakistani JF-17 fighter which Islamabad claimed it had used to shoot at an Indian MiG-21 jet.
Pakistan has some 32 F-16 jets out of 40 supplied by the US some two decades ago.