Used F-16's are available. Lots to be had from a variety of sources, and lots of options for modernization.
True. Though it may end up costing as much if not more than brand-new Gripens and the air force will still be stuck with old, second-hand fighters. The only hope is if the U.S. would offer the remaining undelivered Block 50 F-16s for Pak through FMS like it did A/B models before.
I believe the F/A-50 is capable of more; some of it's potential is being held back because of the agreement LM and KAI had when they developed the aircraft. The EL/M-2032 is capable of guiding the Israeli Derby BVR missile; that could be a growth option for the type.
And there lies the difficulty. The Gripen has the edge in this regard as both single and two seat variants are open for development...with at least the Brazilian order and other campaigns to insure it wouldn't be an orphan fleet. Maybe the PAF can leverage its familiarity with Korean aircraft when the KF_X becomes real?...but it's still a long time away yet.http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... shape.html
I'm not really advocating for the country to jump into operating expensive, complex fighters now. Merely contrasting the predicaments both air forces find themselves in. On one hand a relatively well-off country with a well-trained, decently-paid military, modern assets and no grave threats. On the other, an economic laggard with as yet not-too-proficient fighter pilot pool, a dozen LIFTs and struggling to keep its territory intact. To illustrate.....http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... ident.html
APKWS might have been the better (costlier?) weapon for the above seeing it has been tested on an F-16, but doubtful it would be released for integration on the FA-50.
Spiel over.....back to the Austrian Typhoons.