Does Pakistan Need F-16s to Fight Terror?


Senator (1k+ posts)

Pakistan is looking to buy more F-16s from the United States. There's mounting opposition to such sales as witnessed recently when President Barack Obama recently approved the sale of just 8 F-16s to the country.

India Lobby:

This decision by the Obama administration's decision triggered the Indian spin machineto go into high gear. The campaign orchestrated by the Indian government included placement of favorable news stories, TV analysts' commentaries, newspaper columns and magazine Op-Eds (including one by Husain Haqqani), think tank reports and speeches by the members of the India Caucus in the US Congress. They all blatantly toed the Indian line that these 8 F-16s would be used against India, not in Pakistan's ongoing counter-insurgency operations. The biased nature of all of these efforts can be gauged by the following facts that were completely ignored by them:

Damocles Multi-Function Targeting Pod Source: Defense News
1. Pakistan, like the United States elsewhere, has been using F-16s in Operation Zarb e Azb against militants hiding out in Pakistan tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan. The key reason for the choice of F-16s is its sophisticated precision targeting pod that is not available on China-Pakistan jointly developed JF-17 fighter aircraft.

2. There is a huge imbalance in the conventional defense capabilities between India and Pakistan as laid out by It ranks India at number 4 in the world while Pakistan is way down at number 17 in 2016. India's defense spending of $51.1 billion is higher than the defense budgets of much richer nations like France ($50.9 billion), Germany ($47 billion) and Japan ($46 billion), and about 6 times higher than Pakistan's $9 billion, according to SIPRI as reported by the media.

3. India is world's largest importer of sophisticated weapons, including fighter aircraft, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Here's what it says about the import of weapons between 2011 and 2015: India (14 per cent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Viet Nam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent).

I did not see a single piece in the US media supporting Pakistani position in this battle. It was completely one-sided. They succeeded in forcing a US Senate vote to block the sale. Luckily for Pakistan, Obama administration barely succeeded in overcoming this Indian campaign to do something as trivial as selling just a few F-16s to Pakistan this time.

Precision Targeting Pod:

PAF currently relies heavily on a fleet of about 70 US-made Lockheed Martin F-16s with its Sniper Targeting Pods, which are solely capable of carrying out precision targeting to hit militants while minimizing civilian deaths. However, Pakistan's continuous use of F-16s for precision targeting in FATA is reducing their effective lives as air to air combat aircraft.

The latest version of precision targeting pod being used with F-16s is Sniper XR. In addition Northrup Grumman also supplies an Israeli designed LITENING Pod to some of its customers.

While Pakistan is still pursuing purchase of additional F-16s, the nation is also looking to enhance precision targeting capability of JF-17. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is assessing the French Thales-made Damocles targeting pod for mounting on its JF-17 aircraft, according to Defense News.

Thales has a newer Talios targeting. These systems are being continuously improved with day/night targeting with FLIR sensors, CCD cameras, weapon delivery, target updates, target tracking at altitudes, air speeds and slant ranges consistent with tactical weapon delivery maneuvers.

Pakistan Air Force deputy chief Muhammad Ashfaque Arain is currently visiting France to discuss the acquisition of the Damocles pod. He has been quoted by Reuters as saying, “the Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not. If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven.”

The addition of a precision targeting pod on JF-17 will improve its mission capabilities as well as reduce the burden on F-16. Another reason why Pakistan is seeking these pods is that they are already being integrated to Russian aircraft(s) and will be produced under license in Russia. So there is a path there for JF-17 aircraft integration.

Pakistan is in the process of retiring hundreds of aging fighter aircraft in its fleet, mainly 40-year-old French-made Mirage jet and 25-year-old Chinese-made F-7s, over the next few years. Islamabad has decided to bet on the JF-17 fighter, jointly developed by China and Pakistan, rather than spending billions on fifth-generation multi-role aircraft like Dassault's Rafale, which rival India is buying, or the Russian Su-35.

India's Opposition:

If Pakistan's efforts to acquire French precision target pods make any headway, I fully expect India to mobilize opposition to any deal. India may use its purchase of additional Rafale jet as a lever to get France to end any further discussion of Damocles sale to Pakistan.


Pakistan is currently engaged in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the world's largest anti-terror military campaign with over 180,000 ground troops and dozens of aircraft involved in it. Pakistan's need for F-16s to fight terror is genuine, as is its desire to acquire precision targeting enhancement for JF-17s. Failure to meet Pakistan's need for precision targeting and other related equipment would hamper its ability to win the war against terror along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
آج کے دن تک ایف سولہ سے بہتر فائٹر جہاز نہیں بن سکا ،اسرائیل نے شام کے ایٹمی پلانٹ کو تباہ کرنا ہو یا ایران کے ایٹمی پلانٹ پر حملے کی پلاننگ ایف سولہ ہی استمعال ہورہا ہے ،عراق و شام اور لیبیا کی جنگ میں بھی یہی جہاز ہے جس نے جنگوں کے پانسے پلٹ دیے

Dr Adam

Prime Minister (20k+ posts)
Riaz your question: Does Pakistan Need F-16s to Fight Terror?

Answer: Whether India likes it or not... A big "YES"


آج کے دن تک ایف سولہ سے بہتر فائٹر جہاز نہیں بن سکا ،اسرائیل نے شام کے ایٹمی پلانٹ کو تباہ کرنا ہو یا ایران کے ایٹمی پلانٹ پر حملے کی پلاننگ ایف سولہ ہی استمعال ہورہا ہے ،عراق و شام اور لیبیا کی جنگ میں بھی یہی جہاز ہے جس نے جنگوں کے پانسے پلٹ دیے
100% agree with u..
Pak dont have any fighter jet to fight against India, All of Pak fighterjets r 30 to 40 year old and they must retired now. What Pak in hand now , is just the Jf-17 thunder jet. However JF-17 is not a good fighter jet against Indian Sku

Lt. Col. Dan Hampton's book, "Viper Pilot" on the F-16 is a great read and worth buying.
what an American pilot wrote about F16......
Flying an F-14, I hated flying against the F-16. It was a nimble aircraft, hard to see on both radar and visual, could sustain high-G in a turn. and did what it was built for, perfectly. I admired it more than I did the early Navy's F/A-18s.....

A rebel group in the pentagon led by one Col
John Boyd (military strategist). Boyd had done research on air to air engagements and discovered that a large number of German, American, and British pilots had never seen the aircraft that shot them down. This data suggested that the US would be better served by a large number of small, high performance aircraft as opposed to a nuclear capable, large multi-mission aircraft like the F15. Genghis Boyd and his adherents fought a bitter institutional battle within the pentagon. Ultimately, they won approval/funding for the ugly duckling the Air Force didn't want, the F16. Of course, as soon as Air Force procurement got its arms around the F16, they made it nuclear capable and added weight and mission roles it was not intended to do. C'est la vie.

Ultimately, Boyd left the pentagon and had a huge impact on business strategy, sports, and litigation. His formulation of OODA loops is still taught in the military and in business strategy

The countries in question (India , China, Pak, Iran, UAE, Turkey) have no kind of stealth capability and only medium quality ground and air radar systems means that the F-16 for regional air superiority is still a good choice. This is particularly true for nations located in the Persian Gulf, South China Sea and South Asia. They do not require long range capabilities and nor are the likely to face fighters that are more advanced. Even China's entry into the Stealth fighter game will not be much of a threat for at least another 15 years - if at all. Between 1978 and the first Gulf War, it was never threatened. An advanced Serbian Air Force MIG-29 was shot down by a Dutch F-16 during the Kosovo War in the late 1990's.

on the other hand read what Indian r saying
4 Pak Fighter Jets, But an Indian Air Force Hero Won the Day
[h=1]Private sector will build fighter jets in India: Parrikar[/h]
India and France are in advanced stage of talks to conclude an inter-governmental agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.


Minister (2k+ posts)
India, blatantly opposes Pakistan. It only forgets that it was India which pushed us to acquire nuclear power, so with this reality if India wishes to oppose F 16s or any other thing, pls go ahead. Inshallah, we are already making JF 17 and would ultimately have far better technology in every other field. The only condition is that India should continue to oppose that we do not sleep. Indian opposition is always an incentive to progress.


Minister (2k+ posts)
No! for fighting terrorism Pakistan needs the will and the strategy to fight extremism which is the mother of terrorism. It should use money to pay mullahs to propagate the peaceful and tolerant narrative of Islam against the aggressive and intolerant narrative being promoted by mullahs funded by foreign powers.

Nadir Bashir

Minister (2k+ posts)
Do not you guys think that MIG-35 is a best option....................
It has a fixed price tag................
Specifications are better as compared to F-16.................

It has a bit stealthy features..................

Only problem is operational cost about which i dont have any information...................


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
pakistan needs f16 to fight pashtuns ..................[hilar][hilar][hilar]
During the late 1800's The British sent 22000 troops into Afghanistan with guns and what not. Only a doctor and a dog survived. So yeah.
What Pakistan needs is the ability to develop or co develop its own jet. And by development, I do not mean, slapping a russian engine onto a body anyone can wield with avionics imported from Europe.