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US approves sale of night vision equipment to Pakistan

Updated Dec 24, 2016 01:41pm


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WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defence has awarded a $284.6 million contract to Lockheed Martin to produce infrared target sight systems for the US Navy and Pakistan, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

The system will be used for the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters, which have proved very effective in combats against militants, particularly in difficult terrains. In the US, the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter is used by US Marine Corps expeditionary forces.

The TSS incorporates a third-generation forward-looking infrared sensor that provides target sighting in day, night, or adverse weather conditions.

A Pentagon press release describes the TSS system as a large-aperture mid-wave forward-looking infrared sensor with a laser designator/rangefinder turret. It provides the capability to identify and laser-designate targets at maximum weapon range, significantly enhancing platform survivability and lethality.

The company’s Orlando-based missile and fire control unit will produce the sight system in Orlando and Ocala, Florida, through January 2022 for the US Navy and Pakistan under the foreign military sales portion of the award, the Pentagon said.

The contract has a base value of $150.96m but its accumulative cost would go up to $284.6m. The government of Pakistan will pay about 12 per cent of the total cost through an arrangement with the United States under the Foreign Military Sales programme.

In January, Lockheed Martin received a smaller contract of $14m to provide the same target system for Pakistan.

The contracts include software development and testing, system modification, and installation requirements to integrate the TSS into the Cobra helicopters. The TSS provides target information and tracking data for the helicopter, in addition to passive targeting for integrated weapons.

Work on the first contract, performed in Florida, would be completed by December 2017.

Although the United States and Pakistan were once close allies, relations between the two countries strained in 2011, when the United States discovered and eliminated Osama bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad.

Earlier this year, US lawmakers stalled a deal for providing eight F-16 aircraft to Pakistan after accusing Islamabad of continuing to support the Afghan Taliban.

The US State Department had approved the sale in February but in May it informed Pakistan that it could not provide financial support for buying the aircraft because of congressional restrictions. The lawmakers had stopped the administration from using the so-called Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for assisting Pakistan.

The State Department, however, advised Pakistan to use its national funds if it still wanted to buy the planes. This would have required Islamabad to pay $700m instead of the original $270m, increasing the cost two-and-a-half times.

Published in Dawn December 24th, 2016


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Comments (27) Closed

Zak from panama Dec 24, 2016 09:34am

For those who are working overtime to isolate Pakistan the message is clear !

No one can isolate Pakistan. Relationship with US will improve further after new President's Oath Ceremony.

Fast Dec 24, 2016 09:40am

We should also purchase helicopters from Russia. Our new close ally.

Iztraab Dec 24, 2016 10:38am

Well, keep buying it. Martin lockead is making hell lot of money.

Meddy Dec 24, 2016 10:59am

India and Pakistan must stop making usa rich. hate among both making russia and usa rich. both country facing major loss in economy.

Dalit Dec 24, 2016 11:05am

Mr Modi, who on earth told you to boast and turn yourself into a laughing stock of the world?

SULAIMAN DHANANI Dec 24, 2016 11:49am

This is not for defense systems but promotion of US business and enterprise!

Samrat Dec 24, 2016 11:53am

@Dalit nobody, but he's 9th on the most powerful list.

سے Shaam (Hanafi) Dec 24, 2016 12:25pm

Well on the other side of the fence "Obama Signs $618 bn Defence Bill; Boosts Security Cooperation With India"

FMS2 Dec 24, 2016 12:28pm

We should not publish these news prematurely. An entire lobby will start working against us as soon as these news make headlines

Omar Dec 24, 2016 12:33pm

It's about time. Long overdue. Such equipment is critical to pakistans military. Welcomed news

FUNNY GUY Dec 24, 2016 12:36pm

Pakistan will have to pay merely 12% of the total production value. Calling such a transfer as a sale will be an over statement.

Shah Dec 24, 2016 12:44pm

This a positive step to fight against terrorism. Thank you USA.

Asad Dec 24, 2016 12:41pm

@Dalit who said? Why self pleasing yourself...just go Mr.Modi's hold on "developed" nations including GCC...forget about others!!

Azam Dec 24, 2016 12:43pm

Can't we make this on our own? What's the rocket science there?

husain Dec 24, 2016 01:06pm

@Iztraab how much commission for Pakistan cronies.?

Saif ZULFIQAR Dec 24, 2016 01:33pm

@Meddy p, Give lesson to your Modi first ..

Madras Dec 24, 2016 01:47pm

India Approves $3.2 billion Purchase Plan to Boost Night Warfare of Armed Forces

Booza Dec 24, 2016 02:15pm

Pretty simple technology to assemble by parts from China and Europe

Talha Dec 24, 2016 03:01pm

We can buy our military hardware from Europe,China,Russia.No need to consider usa

amar Dec 24, 2016 04:20pm

@Zak from panama good luck .

Sohail Wazir Dec 24, 2016 06:21pm

Modi desperately failed to isolate Pakistan

Mohammad Dec 24, 2016 06:32pm

Or we can spend that money on developing the technology ourselves and create jobs for our own people.

The end is near Dec 24, 2016 06:57pm

Now Pakistan will be asked to "Do More" over and over again in 2017.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 24, 2016 07:14pm

A well deserved departing gift from President Obama and his administration for the brave, enduring, excelling and peace loving people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In essence, it is a slap on the faces of all enemies of the people and "land of the pure" who might be having many sleepless nights from now on-wards for many more decades to come. Pakistan Zindabaad, people of Pakistan, Paeendabaad.

Ali Dec 24, 2016 07:55pm

The US approved night vision systems for Pak Army Cobra AH-1Z helicopters as its necessary for terrorist operations at night in the rugged Pak-Afghan mountains. This should have been provided much earlier. Pak Army has been operating Cobra helicopters for over 30 years, which are old and will have to be replaced.

The US has also approved 22 Apache AH-64D, Block 3, the latest and most advanced multi-role combat helicopters to India worth $1.5 billion. India is also getting Boeing Chinook heavy helicopters for another billion dollars. India can't object to Pakistan getting basic equipment necessary for the War on Terror.

Arif Dec 24, 2016 08:51pm

Night vision equipment is a must have to combat terrorists and their agents. Pakistan has so far done great to fight them, continue to work hard and remove the remaining. On the contrary, Afghanistan needs to stop blame game and work harder in their territory. Time to tell Afghans to do more.

Valiya Dec 25, 2016 05:11pm

@Booza Will they give for only 12% of the total cost?