November 25, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin is featuring the most advanced F-16 fighters this week at the Dubai International Air Show - the block 60 F-16 E/F and the Block 50/52 F-16 C/D.
UAEAF F-16F block 60 #3012 taking off from NAS Fort Worth on October 8th, 2004. [Photo by Keith Robinson
The new block 60
aircraft made its aerial debut at the show on Monday November 21 - in the home country of the first and only nation flying this aircraft today. Troy Pennington, Lockheed Martin test pilot, is flying the aircraft in the demonstrations this week.
Both new F-16 versions have the latest technology in avionics, weapons, sensors and systems integration that provide pilots with increased situational awareness.
Recent F-16 milestones include the arrival in the United Arab Emirates
) of the first group of 10 Block 60 UAE aircraft, rollout of the first block 50
aircraft for Chile
, delivery of the first two Block 50 aircraft to Oman
's announcement of a major capabilities upgrade for its fleet of F-16s.
Oman is now flying new aircraft with the delivery in October of their first two F-16 Advanced Block 50 aircraft. "This makes Oman the fifth Arab nation and the third member of the Gulf Cooperation Council to acquire the F- 16," said Larson. "Oman's selection of the F-16 provides further opportunities for interoperability and closer ties among airmen throughout the region," said Larson.
"Couple these new aircraft deliveries in the region with the Government of Turkey's decision in July to begin a major capabilities upgrade for the Turkish Air Force fleet of F-16s - the $1.1B Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP
) - and you have the most advanced aircraft systems available being flown by countries in this region," said Larson. "The Turkish CCIP upgrade shows how F-16 technology continues to evolve, even for customers who are no longer ordering new aircraft."