Pakistan Air Force will get six F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets from United States today. This will bring the total number of F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets with Pakistan Air Force to 12. Remaining six F-16 C/D Block 52+ will arrive in Pakistan next month. Pakistani government have taken up the option of another 18 F-16 C/D Block 52+ which will bring the total number of F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets in PAF to 36.

These aircrafts are equipped with the AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM beyond the visual range missiles to deal with the threats beyond the range of short range missiles. This makes F-16 C/D Block 52+ first air craft in Pakistani service that is equipped with such capability. By the end of 2010, JF-17 Thunders with SD-10A BVRAAM will join the F-16 C/D Block 52+ fighter jets to provide airdefense with long range BVRAAMs.

AIM-120 AMRAAM is the most advance western missile in its category which was designed as an all-weather, active radar-guided missile to destroy the threats beyond the line of sight. Fist version of AIM-120 was designated AIM-120A and an improved version was developed from 1989 called AIM-120B. AIM-120 C was developed with a reduced wing and fin span to fit inside the internal weapons carriage on the F-22 Raptor stealth aircraft.

Improver version called AIM-120 C-5 was tested for the first time in 1998. This version of AMRAAM was tested with dual-mode passive and active radar seeker that allowed the AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM to detect and home onto enemy aircraft radar transmissions. The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile is 3.65 m long, has a body diameter of 178 mm, a fin span of 0.63 m and a launch weight of 157 kg. The fixed central wings have a span of 0.53 m and a 22 kg HE directed fragmentation warhead. AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM missile has a reduced wing span of 0.445 m, fin span of 0.447 m and has a larger motor.

Serial numbers of the F-16 C/D Block 52+ which will arrive today are

PAF’s F-16 C/D block 52+ are equipped with the AN/APG-68 V (9) radar which offers much improved air-to-air defense and air-to-ground attack capabilities. AN/APG-68 V(9) radar can detect targets at much longer ranges as detection range is increased by 30 percent over the previous versions of the radar.

In ground attack role it offers two-foot resolution in new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode. This will allow PAF to use these newly purchased F-16 C/D block 52+ fighter jets in all weather delivery of precision guided weapons from the standoff ranges.

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