United Arab Emirates Signs Agreement For Purchase Of 80 Lockheed Martin F-16s
ABU DHABI, UAE, 05-MAR-00 -- Officials of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Lockheed Martin Corporation announced today that they have signed contractual agreements providing for the U.A.E.'s purchase of 80 F-16 aircraft and associated equipment for an estimated $6.4 billion. Pending U.S. Congressional approval, the aircraft will be produced by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Fort Worth, Tex., in the new F-16 Block 60 configuration that incorporates advanced capabilities. The contract solidifies the U.A.E.'s May 1998 selection of the F-16 after a long and thorough process in which the Block 60 aircraft was evaluated against other advanced fighters including the Eurofighter Typhoon, France's Rafale and Boeing's F-15E.
U.A.E. Armed Forces Col. Obaid Al Ketbi, director of general purchasing, and Dain M. Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, announced the contract signing at a news conference held in conjunction with the Tridex 2000 Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
This agreement is very significant for the strategic relationship that exists between the governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates, just as it is important for Lockheed Martin and the worldwide community of nations that rely on the F-16 for their defense, Hancock said. We are honored that the U.A.E. Air Force has reaffirmed its choice of the F-16 and is providing us this opportunity to work with them in what we expect to be a long and mutually beneficial partnership.
The U.A.E.'s particular version of the F-16 is named the Desert Falcon. Its equipment package consists of conformal fuel tanks for extended range, new cockpit displays, a new internal sensor suite, a new mission computer, and other advanced features including the Northrop Grumman Agile Beam Radar (ABR) for improved tracking of multiple targets.
Special aircraft equipment will include a new Integrated Electronic Warfare System (IEWS) supplied by Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman also supplies the internal forward-looking infrared and targeting system (IFTS) for the aircraft.
The U.A.E. has not yet selected the engine supplier for the aircraft. Pratt & Whitney and General Electric manufacture engines for the F-16.
The F-16 has continuously benefited from the development of new technology over its years of service. Major improvements have been designated as new block versions, including the Block 40 and Block 50 configurations introduced during the 1990s.
The 80 aircraft for the U.A.E. will be delivered from 2004 through 2007. Their development and production will result in the creation of over 100,000 man-years of direct employment in many different companies across 40 states.
Along with new F-16s to be produced for Greece, Israel and Egypt, these will help sustain the Fort Worth, Tex., assembly line and the fighter aircraft subcontractor base until the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) enters production for U.S. services around 2007.
The F-16 is the world's most successful and sought-after fighter, with nearly 4,000 delivered to date. The U.A.E. is the 21st country to order the F-16.
Well over 200 F-16s will be added to Lockheed Martin's backlog through customer decisions announced in the last year, including 30 planned for the U.S. Air Force, 24 for Egypt, 50 for Greece, 50 for Israel and the 80 for the U.A.E. Lockheed Martin's F-16 firm backlog was 109 aircraft as of March 1 - not counting the most recent sales to the U.A.E., Greece and U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Products include the F-16, F-22, C-130J, F-117, U-2, X-33 and Joint Strike Fighter, among other renowned aircraft. LM Aeronautics is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics and technology services.