The Pakistan air force on June 27 formally took delivery of the first F-16C/D Block 52s, with a goal of having all 18 aircraft in country before year-end, the service says.
The handover at the PAF Base Shahbaz represents a big jump in the service’s air-to-ground attack capability. In particular, the service stresses the new aircraft will provide a vital capability to carry out missions at night.
(credit: Pakistan air force)
Pakistani air force pilots carried out the ferry flights, with three aircraft arriving on June 26.
The ceremony was attended by ACM Rao Qamar Suleman, the Pakistan air force chief of staff, as well as USAF Gen. Norton Schwartz, his U.S. counterpart.
During the ceremony, the Pakistan air force chief noted that “these new aircraft will begin a new era of high tech environment in the PAF. This technology will not only eliminate our existing limitations of precision night operations but also enable the PAF to meet its mission more effectively.” The F-16s also come with an advanced electronic warfare suite and datalink capabilities.