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United Arab Emirates to purchase 30 F-16s Block 61?

January 24, 2014 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on Jan 23 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates F-16 Block 61s and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $270 million.

UAEAF F-16F block 60 #3018 is parked on the tarmac at Nellis AFB during Red Flag 12-4 on July 30th, 2012. [Avtech photo]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has 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 UAE’s 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. The sale of additional F-16s to the UAE is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. The UAE will have no difficulty absorbing this additional equipment and support into its armed forces.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Ft. Worth, Texas. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The UAE and Lockheed Martin have reportedly been in talks about an F-16 sale for at least a year and a half, particularly since an offer by France to sell an advanced version of its Rafale combat jet to the UAE didn't work out.

Last October the UAE requested munitions and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support from the US under a possible FMS worth a total of $4 billion.

Specifically the UAE was seeking 5000 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) with BRU-61 carriage systems; 8 SDB Guided Test Vehicles for aircraft integration; 16 SDB Captive Flight and Load Build trainers; 1200 AGM-154C Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW); 10 JSOW CATMs; 300 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER); 40 CATM-84H Captive Air Training Missiles; 20 ATM-84H SLAM-ER Telemetry Missiles; 4 Dummy Air Training Missiles; and 30 AWW-13 Data Link pods.

Additional images:

UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3080 is touching down on the runway at NAS Fort Worth after a local test flight on November 12th, 2011. [Photo by Sebastiaan Does]

UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3081 is performing during a demo at the Dubai airshow on November 13th, 2011. This airframe was added to the UAE order after one of their aircraft crashed before delivery. [ photo by David Marshall]

UAEAF F-16E block 60 #3038 from 1 sqn is waiting to go at Konya AB on June 20th, 2013 during exercise Anatolian Eagle. [ photo by Lieuwe Hofstra]