The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AIR FORCE is funded by the seven
emirates - Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and
Umm al-Qarwain - which form the UAE. Combat aircraft, trainers and
transports are controlled jointly and four of the states have aircraft
operated as royal flights. Within the seven states of the United Arab
Emirates, only Abu Dhabi has a truly combat-capable air force. Abu Dhabi
has also finalised the 'last big deal of the century' by signing a $6.4
billion contract for 80 Block 60 F-16s on March 5,2000.. The aircraft will
be armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the UAE's Marconi Electronic
Systems-developed precision guided munitions family.Dassault did not lose
out entirely, as the UAE also ordered 30 Mirage 2000-9s and committed to
upgrade 33 of its Mirage 2000 fleet. The -9 has both an air-to-air and
air-to-surface capability and will be equipped with Matra BA Dynamics Mica
active radar guided medium range AAM and ASRAAM short-range IR guided AAMs.
The Hawks are also compatible with a range of UK- developed
munitions not cleared on the Alpha Jet. The first of seven AS15TT-armed
Panther helicopters is to be delivered by late 1999 with the remainder to
arrive in 2000. The air force is split into a western and central air
command based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively. Western command has
air bases at Al Dhafra, Bateen and Al Ain Sharjah international airport.
The largest base is Al Dhafra which has two squadrons of Mirage 2000s and
one with Mirage5s. It is also home to the Abu Dhabi Royal Flight, the
AH-64As, the Cougars and the Puma transports. Central command's assets are
all at Mindht and are divided between a light attack squadron equipped
with Hawks, a transport squadron, a helicopter squadron, a flying school
and the Dubai Royal Flight.
The air force has a requirement for more training aircraft
to support the introduction of more than 140 Mirage 2000-9 and F-16C/D
Block 60 combat aircraft over the next few years. The UAE is expected to
upgrade its 20 BAE Systems Hawk Mk63 and 18 Hawk Mk102 trainers to a
common standard as well as acquire new aircraft. Germany has offered to
share development of an advanced trainer/light combat aircraft (LCA) with
the UAE, focussing on the AT-2000 Mako, which could enter production in
2007 and be operational by 2010. Seeking to break into the lucrative Gulf
market, the German sales push included an October 1999 offer of 30 ex-Luftwaffe
Alpha Jets, a move that could thwart further Hawk sales. In March 2000,
the UAE signed a long-delayed, and hotly contested, US$6.4 billion
contract with Lockheed for 80 Block 60 F-16s, with deliveries scheduled to
start in late 2004 and end in 2007. The UAE has also been cleared to
receive 491 AIM-120B AMRAAMS, 267 AIM-9Ms, 163 AGM-88 HARMs, 1,163
AGM-65D/G Mavericks and 52 AGM-84 Harpoons under the F-16 deal. The UAE is
also expected to receive the Black Shahine Matra/BAe stealthy Apache
cruise missile despite US objections that this contravenes the MTCR.
Aircraft of the UAEAF :
Fighter/Attack Aircraft :
- F-16 C/D Block 60
The contract solidifies the UAE'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 F-15E. ON MAY 25, REPRESENTING ONE of
the largest and most expensive sales of U.S. fighter aircraft this decade,
the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on May 12 that it will purchase
80 F-16C/D fighters, including weapons and support systems, worth an
estimated $7 billion. The aircraft will be equipped with more advanced
features than the F-16s currently flown by the U.S. Air Force and the UAE,
as part of the package, will also receive the AIM-120 Advanced Medium
Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). A U.S. government official described
the UAE F-16, which will be built with a new Block 60 platform, as
"comparable to or superior to" U.S. F-16s, which are based on
the Block 50 and 40 platforms. Aside from being equipped with additional
fuel tanks above the wings, which could extend range by almost 30 percent,
the UAE aircraft will also feature an improved mission computer, new
cockpit displays, a larger engine and a more advanced radar, the
development of which will be paid for by the UAE.
- Mirage 2000-5 Mk E/R/D
The UAE Air Force and Air defence has been operating MIRAGE
2000 for many years and has contracted with Dassault Aviation for the
delivery of 30 new MIRAGE 2000-9 aircraft and for the modernisation of its
existing fleet of MIRAGE 2000 up to the latest-9 standard. The UAE will be
the first 2000-9 operator following its $2-billion order for the aircraft.
Delivery of the new 2000-9s is scheduled for late 2001. The air force will
form two or three squadrons.Upgraded UAE 2000s will get the Thomson-CSF
multimode fire control radar (RDY model), along with Matra’s MICA
missile and its advanced short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM) for air
superiority. Matra BAe Dynamics expects the MICA and ASRAAM missile order
will be worth about $515 million.
- Hawk Mk60/100
The Hawk 60, powered by an Ardour Mk.861 turbofan engine,
provides air combat manoeuvring and weapon conversion training. It is
highly spin-resistant, requiring full rudder to initiate and maintain a
spin and recovering in one turn after centralising the flying controls.
Stall characteristics are predictable and progressive.The UAE is expected
to upgrade its 20 BAE Systems Hawk Mk63 and 18 Hawk Mk102 trainers to a
common standard as well as acquire new aircraft.
- * New Trainer Competition
Acquisition of this comparatively large fleet of new and
advanced combat aircraft brings with it the requirement for an appropriate
pilot training package and the UAE has initiated a competition for a
selection of a suitable type. On the shortlist are the BAE Hawk
Mk.63&Mk.102, surplus Luftwaffe Alpha Jets, the K-8 and the EADS Mako.
- C-130H Hercules
The Abu Dhabi and Dubai air forces are
largely integrated into the UAE air force. Two C-130Hs were deliveredto
Abu Dhabi in March 1973, and then sold back to Lockheed in 1984, in
exchange for two new aircraft which arrived in December 1983. Two other
C-130Hs weredelivered inJune 1981, augmenting a C-130H-30
delivered inApril 1981 and an L-100-30 delivered in 1979
originally delivered to Dubai. The C-130Hs now operate from Bateen AB, Abu
Dhabi, with the Transport Wing, Western AirCommand, while the two
stretched aircraft fly from Minchat AB, Dubai, with the Transport
Squadron, Central Air Command.
- C212-200 Aviocar
The CASA C-212 AVIOCAR 100 is a two turbo propeller engine
aircraft, for light transportation, with a metal structure, high wing,
with a fixed tricycle landing gear and propellers with a variable and
reversible pitch. The AVIOCAR may use short runways, at both take off and
landing: Short Take-off and Landing (STOL). The C-212 is CASA's answer to
the needs of different Air Forces in the field of light military transport
and can operate in areas lacking in infrastructure and on unpaved runways.
The C-212 was designed with high-wing configuration and fixed landing
gear, and is fitted with turbo-prop engines, STOL characteristics and
incorporates simple and reliable systems.
- CN.235M/MPA / C-295M 'Persuader'
The CN-235 is a high-wing, pressurised, twin turbo-prop
plane with STOL performance that can carry a maximum payload of 6,000 kg.
Its maximum cruising speed is 240 Ktas and it has a range of 2,250
nautical miles with a payload of 3,550 kg. The CN-235 has been conceived
for tactical military transport and is capable of operating from unpaved
runways and has excellent low level flying characteristics for tactical
penetration.The CN-235 can be used to transport up to 48 paratroopers who
may jump out either of the two side doors or the rear ramp.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has opted to procure four C-295M
‘Persuader’ maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). The C-295M is a stretched
version of the CN-235M, ready fitted with the EADS CASA Fully Integrated
Tactical System (FITS). Other differences from the CN-235 include a
different wing geometry, more powerful Pratt and Whitney Canada engines,
reinforced landing gear and more modern avionics. The UAE’s choice may
be linked to the fact that it already operates seven CN-235 variants in
the transport configuration
- AH-64A Apache
The AH-64A Apache, widely recognized as the most advanced,
combat-proven attack helicopter in the world for the past decade, is the
predecessor of today's unmatched AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-mission
with 16 laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 76 70 mm rockets, or a
combination of both, and a 30 mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 rounds
of high explosive, dual purpose ammunition.
The Eurocopter/Aerospatiale SA 341/342 Gazelle is a French
built light utility helicopter which was first flown in 1967. Military
missions include attack, antitank, antihelicopter, reconnaissance,
utility, transport, and training,
SA 342L: Export light attack variant with Astazou XIVM engine.
- AS532UC/SC Cougar
The Cougar was designed to provide high performance, ease of
deployment, low operating cost, comfort, plus high mission readiness. For
military use and adapting to modern battlefield conditions, it features
survivability, suitability for tactical flight thanks to exceptional
manoeuvrability, low observability, low vulnerability to projectiles,
crashworthiness. A multirole helicopter, the Cougar can be armed with
machine-guns and pod-mounted cannons, with rockets, or with antisubmarine
or antisurface weapon systems to suit different mission requirements.
Additional missions include: VIP transport, electronic warfare, and
- IAR/SA 330 Puma
The Puma can operate as a
casualty evacuation aircraft, troop transport for up to 16 fully equipped
troops, as a medium lift transport carrying up to 5,500 lbs of freight.
Manufactured under Aerospatiale/Eurocopter licence by IAR S.A. Brasov
as a troop carrier and a tactical support helicopter, the 330L Puma
proved to be a multi-role helicopter and in financial terms became one of
the most successful medium utility helicopter.
The first contract for the new company is likely to be the sale of 10
new-build AS 330 Puma transport helicopters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
plus the upgrade of an additional 15 Pumas already operated by the UAE Air