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Thread: U.S. Approves Sale of Missiles to Pakistan

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    beltman713 Guest

    U.S. Approves Sale of Missiles to Pakistan

    U.S. Approves Sale of Missiles to Pakistan

    Mon May 9,11:58 AM ET

    WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has authorized the sale of Harpoon antiship missiles and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to Pakistan.

    The missiles will upgrade stockpiles of older versions of each missile, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in statements issued Monday.

    Pakistan is seeking 40 AGM-84L air-launched Harpoons and 20 RGM-84L surface-launched versions of the missile in a deal worth up to $180 million, the military said. The Pakistani navy uses an older version of the missile, and the U.S. statement said the new missiles are less likely to hit noncombatant targets in a naval engagement.

    The prime contractors on the deal are Boeing in St. Louis and Delex Systems of Vienna, Va.

    In addition, Islamabad is seeking to purchase up to 300 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, which fighter aircraft use to shoot down other planes. The deal is worth up to $46 million, and the prime contractor is Raytheon Systems in Tucson, Ariz.

    The deal will allow Pakistan to fly armed surveillance aircraft along its western border, the military said. West of Pakistan are
    Afghanistan and

    "The Pakistani Air Force currently lacks this self-defense capability. These missiles are needed to allow Pakistan to defend its borders, participate in coalition operations and exercises and operate a modern Air Force," the military statement says.

    Neighboring India often criticizes U.S. weapon sales to Pakistan, ruled by pro-U.S. President Pervez Musharraf since he seized power in a coup in 1999. Experts fear Pakistan's government could fall to Islamic fundamentalists, turning powerful weapons over to people who could use them to oppose U.S. interests.

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