May 10, 1998 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The United Arab Emirates is expected to announce Tuesday its intention to buy some $6 billion worth of U.S. warplanes following talks at the White House.
Everything is still on track and the announcement is expected on Tuesday. The expected statement will indicate that Abu Dhabi intends to buy up to 80 F-16 block 60
warplanes in a deal with LMTAS. In addition to demands for top-of-the-line electronic warfare and other systems, the UAE
is after F-16s fitted with additional fuel tanks to carry operations without the need for aerial refueling.
It also wants them armed with weapons like HARM (High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles) and AMRAAM
(Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles).
The F-16 has been at the top of the UAE's short-list for the deal which has been fiercely contested by the Eurofighter 2000 and Rafale made by France's Dassault Aviation. The Eurofighter is made by British Aerospace along with Daimler-Benz Aerospace, Spain's CASA and Italy