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Indian Air Force seeks ‘fresh replenishments’ of missiles to counter Pakistan’s F-16s – report

Indian Air Force seeks ‘fresh replenishments’ of missiles to counter Pakistan’s F-16s – report
The Indian Air Force has reportedly urged the government to stock up on munitions to counter Pakistan’s alleged buildup of F-16 fighters along its frontiers as cross-border tensions rise between the regional rivals.

An increasing number of armed sorties along the borders with Pakistan is taking its toll on the shelf life of Indian Air Force (IAF) ammunition. In order to maintain battle readiness and match Pakistan’s air fleet expansion on its doorstep, the IAF is seeking to acquire additional air-to-air missiles, India’s Economic Times has learned.

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“These missiles have a certain life,” a top government source told the publication. “The life of the missile depends on the number of sorties being undertaken. So we need fresh replenishments.”

As India looks into the acquisition of additional weapons for their pilots, Pakistan has reportedly moved more of its F-16 jets to the border. While the Economic Times claims that Islamabad had moved “all its F-16s upfront,” Zee News reported that Pakistan has built an additional air squadron at Mushaf Airbase. The new unit will aid another Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 squadron already serving at the base.

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New Delhi maintains that Pakistan’s use of US-made F-16 jets against India potentially violates the terms of the American transfer agreement. So far, Islamabad has yet to confirm any additional air-power deployment to its border with India. PAF fighters, however, did carry out landing and takeoff exercises across the country’s motorways and highways on Monday.

Pakistan and India have maintained high-level of alertness following the IAF’s counter-terrorism operation in Balakot against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants on February 26. The raid deep inside Pakistani territory came in retaliation for the Pulwama attack on February 14, in which a Kashmiri member of a Pakistan-based militant group killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in a suicide bombing.

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