Washington, December 12 :

The United States plans to offer Pakistan a new billion dollar arms package, including E-2C Hawkeye 2000 Airborne Early Warning Suite for P-3s and TOW-2A Anti-Armour Guided Missiles.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) informed Congress of these proposed sales at Pakistan’s request on December 7 in two separate notifications, claiming these will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The proposed sales “will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for economic progress in South Asia and a partner in the global war on terrorism”, they said.

The total value of proposed refurbishment and modification of three excess P-3 aircraft with the E-2C HAWKEYE 2000 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Suite, as well as associated equipment and services could, if all options are exercised, be as high as $855 million. The total value of 2,769 Radio Frequency (RF) TOW 2A Missiles, 7 RF TOW 2A Fly-to-buy Missiles, 415 RF Bunker Buster Missiles, 7 RF Fly-to-buy Bunker Buster Missiles, upgrade of 121 TOW Basic/TOW-I launchers to fire TOW II configuration for wire-guided and wireless missiles as well as associated equipment could, if all options are exercised, reach $185 million.

The command-and-control capabilities of P-3 aircraft with the E-2C HAWKEYE 2000 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Suite will improve Pakistan’s ability to restrict the littoral movement of terrorists along Pakistan’s southern border. Pakistan intends to use the proposed equipment to develop an effective air defence network for its naval forces and provide an AEW surveillance and enhanced command, control, and communications capability, the Pentagon said.