UAE’s F-16E Desert Falcon Rips through the Sky at Dubai Airshow
At the recent Dubai Airshow, the United Arab Emirates announced it is upgrading its fleet of 80 Lockheed Martin F-16 E/F Block 60 fighters at a cost of about $1.6 billion dollars. Included in the contract are spares and support, as well as a modernization program that will incorporate a new processor.
The UAE received its F-16s in 2004, having financed development of the unique Block 60 version, called the Desert Falcon. They feature GE F110 engines delivering 32,500 pounds of thrust, conformal fuel tanks that store more fuel internally, freeing up wing hardpoints for weapons rather than fuel tanks, an integrated Northrop Grumman electronic warfare system, a Mil-STD 1773 fiberoptic databus, and a Northrop Grumman APG-80 AESA radar, which can track and destroy both ground and air threats, simultaneously.