India has dug up contract details between the United States and Pakistan on the AMRAAM missile fired from an F-16 aircraft and is learnt to have shared the information with American interlocutors to bolster its case about misuse of the fighter aircraft against India.
A day after Pakistan claimed it never used American F-16s in its attempted air strike on military installations in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir, India on Thursday presented parts of a fired AMRAAM missile, which can only be fired from an F-16 aircraft.
According to Contract no. 1168-06, dated November 17, 2006, the US Department of Defense stated that “Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $269,646,834 firm-fixed-price contract modification. This action is exercising an option to purchase 500 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) Air Vehicles (AAVs) Air Intercept Missile (AIM) – 120C-5 missiles and rehost. This effort supports foreign military sales to Pakistan 100%. At this time, total funds have been obligated. This work will be complete by April 2011. Headquarters Medium Range Missile Systems Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8675-05-C-0070/P00028).”
“There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission and Pakistan is trying to hide this fact. Also, parts of AMRAAM air-to-air missile, which is carried only on the F-16s in PAF, were recovered east of Rajouri within Indian territory,” Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor had said on Thursday at a joint briefing by the armed forces where parts showing the cover and serial number markings were displayed.
Sources said the contract details and the part of the missile show the use of F-16s in the air strike since the US, which sold the fighter jets to Pakistan, does not allow these platforms to be used in an offensive role.
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India had strongly opposed the US decision to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan in 2016, which also could not pass the muster in US Congress for Foreign Military Funding. This meant that the order was never placed.
AMRAAM missiles allow a fighter pilot to target an enemy aircraft that is beyond visual range, in day or night, and in all-weather conditions. The AMRAAM has an autonomous guidance capability, which allows the pilot to manoeuvre immediately after the missile’s launch.
Pakistan agreed to buy about 70 F-16s in the 1980s, and about 40 were delivered before the US Congress cut off all aid and military sales in 1990, citing Pakistan’s secret development of nuclear weapons under the Pressler Amendment.
In 2006, Pakistan was a major recipient of American arms sales, including the $1.4-billion purchase of up to 36 new F-16C/D fighter aircraft and $640 million in missiles and bombs. The deal included a package for $891 million in upgrades for Pakistan’s older F-16s.
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