The State Department has approved a potential $450 million deal with Pakistan for F-16 aircraft sustainment and equipment.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress on Wednesday of the new foreign military sale.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing fly in formation above the Arabian Gulf during Falcon Talon 2022 with the Pakistan Air Force, Feb. 26, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerreht Harris)

“Pakistan is an important counterterrorism partner, and as part of longstanding policy, the United States provides life cycle maintenance and sustainment packages for U.S.-origin platforms,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. “Pakistan’s F-16 program is an important part of the broader United States-Pakistan bilateral relationship. The proposed sale will sustain Pakistan’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet.”

The DSCA noted the new FMS case does not include capabilities or weapons for Pakistan’s fleet of F-16s, which it has operated since the 1980s, but rather addresses a request to “consolidate prior F-16 sustainment and support cases to support the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet by reducing duplicate case activities and adding additional continued support elements.”

The deal includes Pakistan’s participation in the F-16 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program, Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program, International Engine Management Program, Engine Component Improvement Program, and other technical coordination groups, according to the DSCA.

Under the deal, Pakistan would also receive aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications and support, spare parts and logistics services.