Pakistan receives first ex-Jordan F-16s

A Pakistan Air Force F-16A, delivered in the early eighties.
A Pakistan Air Force F-16A, delivered to the Pakistan Air Force in the early eighties. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

The Pakistan Air Force received five former Royal Jordan Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons on Sunday 27 April, reports in Pakistan say. The five fighter aircraft were reportedly flown to Mushaf Airbase, some 125 miles (200 kilometres) south of Islamabad. The deal between Jordan and Pakistan is for twelve F-16AM and one F-16BM aircraft – although pictures actually show two BM models arriving in Pakistan. The transfer of F-16s was announced earlier this year.

Pakistan already operates 63 F-16s, in versions varying from rather outdated F-16A and B aircraft to state-of-the-art, quite recently delivered block 52+ F-16C and D aircraft. The modernized F-16AM and BM fighters purchased from Jordan, are intended to further strengthen the country’s air force. The F-16s involved are said to have another 20 years of service life left in them.

Jordan in turn, received its first F-16s in 1997 from US surplus inventory. Over the years, used Fighting Falcons from Belgium and the Netherlands also found their way to the middle eastern country, bringing the total number up to 64 aircraft.

The deal with Pakistan raises some eyebrows, as Jordan is said to be in negotiations with the Netherlands over a further number of used F-16s. It therefore seems a bit strange to sell F-16s to Pakistan, only to buy additional – and virtually identical – F-16s from Dutch surplus inventory.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest

A Jordan F-16, bought from surplus Belgium inventory. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A Jordan F-16, bought from surplus Belgium inventory. (Image © Elmer van Hest)