F-16 Fighting Falcon News

UAE block 60s arrive in Italy for Libyan operations

March 28, 2011 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Six F-16 block 60 aircraft from the United Arab Emirates together with six Mirages landed at Decimomannu AB, Italy on Sunday ahead of their deployment to help enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

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UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3048 from 1 sqn is coming in for landing at Decimomannu AB on March 27th, 2011 to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya. [Photo by Massimo Pieranunzi]

The 12 jets were committed by UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan on Thursday. They are dispatched to join operations, but only as "an extension" of its "humanitarian operations," Al Jazeera reported.

The aircraft could be seen landing at the Decimomannu airport near Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia.

A former UAE air force commander said last week that his country had delayed its military deployment because of disagreements with the West over the unrest in Bahrain, where there is a Shiite-led revolt against the Sunni royal family.

The six block 60 jets are:




Additional images:

UAEAF F-16F block 60 #3004 from 1 sqn is coming in for landing at Decimomannu AB on March 27th, 2011 to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya. [Photo by Massimo Pieranunzi]

UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3077 from 1 sqn is coming in for landing at Decimomannu AB on March 27th, 2011 to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya. [Photo by Massimo Pieranunzi]

UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3049 from 1 sqn is coming in for landing at Decimomannu AB on March 27th, 2011 to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya. [Photo by Massimo Pieranunzi]