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F16s for Pak won't affect India's military advantage: US

By Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
July 01, 2006 21:33 IST
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The US Defence Department has assured Congress that the weapons systems requested by Pakistan for F-16 jets would not reduce India's quantitative or qualitiative military advantage as the capability already exists in the region.

Notifying the Congress about the kind of weapons Pakistan has requested for the jets, it said, "Purchase of these weapons systems would not significantly reduce India's quantitative or qualitative military advantage.

"Release of the weapons systems will neither affect the regional balance of power nor introduce a new technology as this level of capability or higher already exists in other countries in the region," the Pentagon said.

The Bush administration has approved the sale of 18 new F-16 fighter jets with an option of offering 18 more to Pakistan.

According to the Department of Defence's notification, Pakistan had sought major defence equipment including: 500 AIM-120C, 5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles; 12 AMRAAM training missiles; 200 AIM-9M-8/9 SIDEWINDER missiles; 500 Joint Direct Attack Munition Guidance Kits: GBU-31/38 Guided Bomb UnitĀ kits andĀ 1,600 Enhanced-GBU-12/24 GBUs.

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Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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