US approves billion-dollar arms sale to Pakistan

Published April 8, 2015
The US lawmakers were assured that the proposed sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region”. —AFP/ISPR/File
The US lawmakers were assured that the proposed sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region”. —AFP/ISPR/File

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has approved Pakistan’s request for a billion dollars worth of military hardware and equipment, identifying Pakistan as a country of vital importance for US foreign policy and national interests.

Diplomatic sources told Dawn Pakistan had submitted its request last year, stating that the weapons were needed for fighting insurgents in the country’s mountainous regions.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

Take a look: Saudi Arabia becomes top arms importer

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia,” the certification said.

“This proposed sale of helicopters and weapon systems will provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in South Asia,” it added.

The agency informed US lawmakers that this proposed sale would provide Pakistan with “a precision strike, enhanced survivability aircraft” that it can operate at high-altitudes.

“By acquiring this capability, Pakistan will enhance its ability to conduct operations in North Waziristan, Fata, and other remote and mountainous areas in all-weather, day-and-night environments. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces,” the certification said.

The agency also assured US lawmakers that the proposed sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region”.

It informed Congress that the State Department had approved this possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $952 million.

The notification said the government of Pakistan had requested a possible sale of 15 AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters, 32 T-700 GE 401C Engines (30 installed and 2 spares), 1000 AGM-114 R Hellfire II Missiles in containers, 36 H-1 Technical Refresh Mission computers, 17 AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems, 30 629F-23 Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency Communication Systems, 19 H-764 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, 32 Helmet Mounted Display/Optimized Top Owl, 17 APX-117A Identification Friend or Foe, 17 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, 17 AN/ALE-47 Counter-measure Dispenser Sets, 18

AN/APR-39C(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, 15 Joint Mission Planning Systems, and 17 M197 20mm Gun Systems.

Also included are system integration and testing, software development and integration, aircraft ferry, support equipment, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.

The agency informed Congress that implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips by US government and contractor representatives to participate in programme and technical reviews, as well as training and maintenance support in the country for a period of 66 months.

It will also require three contractor representatives to reside in the country for a period of three years to support this programme.

“There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale,” the certification said.

“The State Department approved a possible foreign military sale to Pakistan for helicopters and associated equipment, parts and support for an estimated cost of $952 million,” a State Department official told Dawn.

“This proposed sale of helicopters and weapon systems will provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations,” the official said.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.
Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...