ISLAMABAD: The US State Department announced an approval of $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of $125 million," said a statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency(DSCA) of the United States issued on Friday.

The announcement came just days after Prime Minister Imran Khan's three days visit to Washington where he had detailed interaction with President Donald Trump and other US authorities with an aim to reset the bilateral ties.

The Agency had already delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on the day.

According to the statement, the Government of Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services; US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 program.

The total estimated program cost is $125 million, it added. However, the Agency said the proposed sale of this support would not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractor is Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC, Fairborn, Ohio.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations as part of the Peace Drive F-16 program.

The sale would have no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. “This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded," it added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019