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F-16 Desert Falcon

In May 1998, the United Arab Emirates announced it had selected the advanced version of the F-16, culminating an intense competition. The program would involve major development, testing and purchase of 80 Block 60 aircraft. -Vice President Gore and the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that the UAE will purchase of 80 F-16's, bringing close to 15,000 new jobs to Texas and nearly 30,000 nationwide.

The deal would create thousands of new jobs -- and that's good news for Texas and good news for America, Vice President Gore said. The UAE is a key pro-western Arab ally and this sale will make a tremendous contribution to preserving the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf region.

In a ceremony at the White House, His Highness Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan informed the Vice President that the UAE will purchase 80 F-16's for a total of nearly $8 billion. F-16's are produced by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems in Fort Worth, Texas. After a two-year competition period in which the United States was tested against rival advanced aircraft proffered by other countries, the UAE chose the F-16 because of its superior performance.

A commercial contract was signed in March 2000, and go-ahead occurred in June 2000. The Block 60 "Desert Falcon" configuration included an APG-80 agile beam radar, an internalized forward-looking infrared targeting system, a new cockpit, internal electronic countermeasures, enhanced-performance F110-GE-132 engine, and conformal fuel tanks.

The F-16 Block 60 is the latest variant of the popular and widely sold F-16. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ordered 80 aircraft55 single seaters and 25 dual seatersfor $8 billion. This sale also marked the first time that the United States had sold a better aircraft overseas than its own forces fly. Controversy has surrounded the most advanced version of the F-16 since we announced its sale on 25 May 1999. Some people object to contributing to an arms race in a volatile area, while others oppose the sale of a superior weapon system overseas when the US Air Force itself cannot afford it."

On the surface, such a transaction seemed ludicrous to some in terms of maintaining technological security and a combat capability advantage. However, the Air Forces International Affairs and Weapons Division (SAF/IARW) contended there are anti-tamper controls to reduce the risk of this technology being used for unintended purposes. Controls can be placed on the aircraft's electronic warfare (EW) and radar system that prevent the buyer from accessing the "source code."

The F-16 Block 60 is the latest variant of the popular and widely sold F-16. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ordered 80 aircraft 55 single seaters and 25 dual seaters for $8 billion. UAE bought the most sophisticated version of the F-16 and is investing almost $3 billion of its money into research and development.

On September 16, 1998, in support of a commercial sale of 80 F-16 Block 60 aircraft, the Department of Defense announced the possible sale to the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) of 491 AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and 12 AMRAAM training missiles; 267 AIM-9M 1/2 SIDEWINDER missiles and 80 SIDEWINDER training missiles; 163 AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) and four HARM training missiles; 1,163 AGM-65D/G MAVERICK missiles and 20 MAVERICK training missiles; 52 AGM-84 HARPOON missiles; 2,252 MK 82 and 1,231 MK 84 general purpose bombs; 1,700 MK 82 and 560 MK 84 air inflatable retard kits; 250 BLU-109 bombs; 605 GBU-10 and 462 GBU-12 PAVEWAY II laser guided bomb kits; 606 GBU-24 PAVEWAY III laser guided bomb kits; 1,820 CBU-87 combined effects munitions; 20 CBU-58 inert cluster bomb units; 44,312 BDU-33 training bombs; 44,148 MK 106 training bombs; 188,000 20mm and 161,650 20mm inert bullets; 115,000 self protection chaff; 55,000 self protection flares; logistics, technical and management services support; Government Furnished Equipment (gun system, Cartridge/Propellant Actuated Devices, delivery services); alternate mission equipment; personnel training (including support for U.S. operating location) and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $2 billion.

On Nov. 30, 2011 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 4,900 JDAM kits and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $304 million. The Government of the UAE requested a possible sale of 4,900 JDAM kits which includes 304 GBU-54 Laser JDAM kits with 304 DSU-40 Laser Sensors, 3,000 GBU-38(V)1 JDAM kits, 1,000 GBU-31(V)1 JDAM kits, 600 GBU-31(V)3 JDAM kits, 3,300 BLU-111 500lb General Purpose Bombs, 1,000 BLU-117 2,000lb General Purpose Bombs, 600 BLU-109 2,000lb Hard Target Penetrator Bombs, and four BDU-50C inert bombs, fuzes, weapons integration, munitions trainers, personnel training and training equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, logistics, and technical support, and other related elements of program support.

By 2015 the UAE was in talks with the US to order 30 Block 61 Lockheed Martin F-16s, which would add to the 80-strong fleet of Block 60 fighters.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates in late April. Subsequently, May 9, 2013, he offered an audience his views on the issues he discussed with those countries leaders. Agreements finalized during his stops in Saudi Arabia and UAE will give those nations access to significant new capabilities, Hagel noted. He stated that the UAE planned to purchase 25 F-16 Desert Falcons. The deal is worth $4- to $5 billion, according to a senior Pentagon official who briefed reporters. The UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, will also be receiving unspecified advanced standoff weapons for its fighters, added the same official. The sale had not yet been formally notified to the U.S. Congress. The Block 60 F-16, also known as the Desert Falcon, was developed specifically for the UAE, which received 80 of the jets between 2005 and 2010.

UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was said to be preparing a deal for the Eurofighter Typhoon with the F-16 procurement program having reached its final phase by getting US approval for 26 more F-16 Block 60 Desert Falcon.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress on 23 January 2014 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for equipment in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of F-16 Block 61 Aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $270 million.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) requested a possible sale of equipment in support of its commercial purchase of 30 F-16 Block 61 aircraft and to support the upgrade of its existing F-16 Block 60 aircraft. Major Defense Equipment includes: 40 20mm M61A Guns; and 40 Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems. Also included: Identification Friend or Foe Equipment; Joint Mission Planning System; night vision devices; Cartridge Activated Device/Propellant Activated Devices; Weapons Integration; spare and repair parts; tools and test equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; International Engine Management Program-Component Improvement Program; repair and return; aerial refueling support; ferry maintenance and services; site surveys; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $270 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The proposed sale will improve the UAEs capability to meet current and future regional threats. The UAE continues host-nation support of vital U.S. forces stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base; plays a vital role in supporting U.S. regional interests; and has proven to be a valued partner and an active participant in overseas contingency operations.

As of mid-2014 the UAE Air Force & Air Defence (UAE AF & AD) fielded a total of 79 F-16E/F Block 60 Desert Falcons, the majority of which were to be upgraded to Block 61 standard. In addition, it had requested the sale of a further 30 Block 61 aircraft, although a contract had yet to be signed.

Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot in the history of the United Arab Emirates, led the Gulf states bombing raids over Syria in late September 2014. Photos of al-Mansouri, beaming from her cockpit, that were released by the countrys state news agency took social media by storm. The 35-year-old squadron commander was likely part of sorties that dropped bombs on Islamic State positions in Syrias Idlib, Aleppo and Raqqa provinces. Some reports suggested that she even spearheaded her countrys mission.

Islamic State fanatics 'fear being killed by a woman will deprive them of virgins in paradise' Women fighters hold particular power over male extremists promised 72 virgins if they die in battle. Women have long been a feature of Kurdish peshmerga forces.

United Arab Emirates - F-16 Block 60 "Desert Falcon"

The first flight of the F-16E/F was made in December 2003. Flight testing by Lockheed Martin began in early 2004 and is continuing with three F-16F models. UAE pilot training on the F-16E/F began at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Ariz., in September 2004, and the first group of pilots completed their training in April 2005. Popular Science named the F-16E/F Block 60 one of the top 100 technical innovations in 2004. The F-16E/F aircraft version, also known as Block 60, is the latest and most advanced of the long lineage of F-16s produced by Lockheed Martin. The UAE has ordered a total of 80 aircraft. The aircraft were delivered in 2004 through 2006.

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Page last modified: 04-11-2015 19:10:57 ZULU