February 25, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The United Arab Emirates has acquired all 80 F-16 block 60 aircraft ordered from the United States.
UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3056 takes off during the Dubai Airshow in 2006. [Photo by Omer Khalid]
Officials said Lockheed Martin has completed production of all 80 F-16 block 60
multi-role fighters in a $6.8 billion deal. The first aircraft rolled out in 2003 for extensive flight testing and delivery began in 2005 and procurement of all aircraft and related systems has been nearly completed mow.
The Block 60 has been deemed the most advanced in the F-16 family and the first with a phased array radar.
selected the F-16 in an intense competition in 1998, and in June 2000, the program was officially launched. The UAE has ordered 80 block 60 F- 16s, which made it the largest military project for the UAE.