As the United States and Pakistan open their strategic dialogue to strengthen rocky ties, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has submitted a new weapon wish list to America looking for big ticket systems.
The 56-page wish list submitted to the Obama administration by Pakistan in fact mostly seeks those equipments that can bring the country on par with the military might of India.
Post 9/11, Pakistan has received more than $7 billion worth of arms sale from the US, authoritative sources said.
In fact, major US arms sales and grants to Pakistan since 2001 have included items useful for counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations, along with a number of "big ticket" platforms more suited to conventional warfare; which is primarily targeted against India.
According to Pentagon reports, total Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan worth about $5 billion for FY2002-FY2009 (in-process sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about three-quarters of this).
The US also has provided Pakistan with more than $2.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) since 2001 (including scheduled FY2010 funds). These funds are used to purchase US military equipment for longer-term modernisation efforts.
Pakistan has also been granted US defence supplies as Excess Defence Articles (EDA), the sources said.
Some of the major post-2001 defence supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF include:
- Eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at $474 million);
- About five 250 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million; 2,007 delivered);
- More than 5,600 military radio sets ($163 million);
- Six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million);
- Six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million);
- Five refurbished SH-2I Super Seasprite maritime helicopters granted under EDA ($67 million);
- One ex-Oliver Hazard Perry class missile frigate via EDA ($65 million);
- 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA ($48 million, 12 refurbished and delivered);
- 21 refurbished TOW missile launchers ($25 million).
Supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF include:
- Up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft (valued at $891 million, with $477 million of this in FMF, Pakistan currently plans to purchase 35 such kits);
- 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers ($87 million, with $53 million in FMF)
Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include:
- 18 new F-16C/D Block 50/52 combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion; none delivered to date);
- F-16 armaments, including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs ($629 million);
- 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million)
- 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million);
- Six Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million)
While the Pentagon notified Congress on the possible transfer to Pakistan of three P-3B aircraft as EDA grants that would be modified to carry the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning suite in a deal worth up to $855 million, this effort has not progressed beyond the notification stage; the sources said.
Other major EDA grants since 2001 include 14 F-16A/B combat aircraft and 39 T-37 military trainer jets. Under Coalition Support Funds (part of the Pentagon budget), Pakistan has received 26 Bell 412 utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million.
Besides, Pakistan has received helicopter spare parts, various night vision devices, radios, body armor, helmets, first aid kits, litters, and large quantities of other individual soldier equipment; according to the Department of Defence.