The US-built aircraft are a critical part of the military arsenal of Pakistan.
“I conveyed India’s concern at the recent US decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet,” Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter.
I conveyed India’s concern at the recent US decision to provide sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet. Loo… https://t.co/WUTi5tBYSF
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 1663159020000
“We also discussed ways to strengthen technological and industrial collaboration and also explore cooperation in emerging and critical technologies,” he added.
The $450 million package for Pakistan, which reversed the Trump administration’s decision in 2018 to suspend such assistance to Islamabad, was announced while India was hosting top US officials, including Lu himself, for a US-India 2+2 Intersessional Meeting and Maritime Security Dialogue.
The government believes that India will remain the primary target of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, even if some of the aircraft are too old or not operational even. India has also been wondering about the purpose of the move to allow Pakistan to upgrade the fleet as it’s unlikely to make any serious dent in Pakistan’s defence cooperation with China.
Pakistan, which like India is nuclear-armed, has relied heavily on Chinese-made jets, but the F-16s remain the most effective and advanced in its fleet.