Pending Sale of F-16 Equipment to UAE Announced

The Pentagon notified Congress of the potential $270 million foreign military sale of equipment and associated support for 30 F-16 Block 61 jets that the United Arab Emirates want to acquire via a direct commercial sale with manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The equipment, which includes 20 mm guns, embedded GPS inertial navigation systems, and night vision devices, would also support the upgrade of UAE’s existing F-16 Block 60 fighters, states the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Jan. 24 release. The proposed sale, per DSCA, would improve the UAE’s capability to meet “current and future regional threats.” The UAE has a fleet of some 80 F-16 Block 60s. Last spring, the Defense Department revealed that the UAE intended to acquire 25 additional F-16s. There’s been no explanation of the equipment or capabilities that distinguish a Block 61 jet from the Block 60 model. Lockheed Martin referred questions to the US and UAE governments.