U.S. Arms Sales to Pakistan Page: 1 of 4
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Order Code RS22757
Updated January 28, 2008
~.CRS Report for Congress
U.S. Arms Sales to Pakistan
Richard F. Grimmett
Specialist in International Security
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
This report briefly reviews the issue of U.S. arms sales to Pakistan. It provides
background details regarding recent major weapons transactions between the United
States and Pakistan, as well as the rationale given for such sales. It also reviews the
current statutory framework that governs U.S. weapons sales to Pakistan, including
existing authorities that could be used to curtail or terminate existing or prospective
sales to that country. This report will only be updated should events warrant.
In 2006, the United States signed arms transfer agreements with Pakistan in excess
of $3.5 billion, ranking Pakistan first among all arms clients of the United States during
that calendar year. The key elements in Pakistan's arms purchases from the United States
were 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighter aircraft for $1.4 billion; a variety of missiles and
bombs to be utilized on the F-16 C/D fighter aircraft for over $640 million; the purchase
of Mid-Life Update Modification Kits to upgrade Pakistan's F-16A/B aircraft for $890
million; and 115 M109A5 155mm Self-propelled howitzers for $52 million. The rise of
Pakistan to its new status as a major arms purchaser from the United States is particularly
noteworthy given the difficulties the United States has had with Pakistan since the 1970s
over its successful effort to produce nuclear weapons. The total value of Pakistan's 2006
arms purchases from the United States nearly matches the total value of all Foreign
Military Sales (FMS) program purchases by Pakistan from the United States for the entire
period from FY1950-FY2001 (more than $3.6 billion in current dollars).1
In the 1950s and 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, the United States saw
Pakistan as a useful ally in the effort to contain the military expansion and political
1 Data from Fiscal Year Series report of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of
the Department of Defense. Pakistan has contracted for 18 F-16C/D aircraft; it has not exercised
its option to purchase the additional 18 aircraft. Descriptions of Pakistan's 2006 arms purchases
from the United States are found in CRS Report RL34187, Conventional Arms Transfers to
Developing Nations, 1999-2006, by Richard F. Grimmett. This report includes data tables
showing Pakistan's rank among all developing nations in arms transfer agreements with all
weapons suppliers for various time periods.
Congressional Research Service The Library of Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
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U.S. Arms Sales to Pakistan, report, January 28, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc816289/m1/1/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.