Tag Archives: UAE Air Force

Rare footage provides interesting details about the world’s most advanced F-16s flown by UAE in the Air War on ISIS

The UAE Air Force takes part in the air war on Daesh with the most advanced F-16 in the world. And here’s some interesting footage.

Filmed from aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, the video below shows United Arab Emirates F-16 Block 60+ Desert Falcons refueling during a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition’s air war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, on Dec. 16, 2016.

The clip includes some rare close-up footage that provides interesting details about the payload of the world’s most advanced F-16s flown by the UAE Air Force in the anti-Daesh campaign.

There appear to be two configurations (both featuring CFTs, Sniper targeting pod and two drops tanks): the first one, includes 2x AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 2x GBU-12 LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs), whereas the pilot wears the JHMCS (Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System); the second one shows the Desert Falcons with 2x AIM-120B AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles) and 4x Mk-82 or BLU-111A/B “dumb bombs” (although they can’t be easily identified, hence they could also be Joint Direct Attack Munitions…).

Both F-16s seem to wear the national flag on the tail: in 2015, two F-16 Block 60 deployed to Jordan to support the anti-ISIS air war without the UAE flag, something we explained with their participation in the air strikes on Islamist militias in Libya in 2014.

Since 2005, the UAE Air Force operates the Block 60 F-16E/F a variant dubbed “Desert Falcon” described as “the most advanced F-16 variant in the world” for being equipped with a Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radar.

Considered “a half-generation ahead of the F-16 C/D Block 50/52+” the Block 60s, that the UAE Air Force has also flown in 2011’s Libya Air War, are also equipped with Northrop Grumman’s AN/ASQ-32 IFTS (Internal FLIR Targeting System) that is coupled up with the FLIR sensor on top of the nose in front of the cockpit, and with an Electronic Warfare that includes the Northrop Grumman Falcon Edge Integrated Electronic Warfare Suite Radar Warning Receiver and the AN/ALQ-165 Self-Protection Jammer.

 

UAE F-16s arrive in Jordan to support war on ISIS. Some of them don’t wear national markings

Six UAE Air Force F-16s have arrived in Jordan.

Photographs showing of six United Arab Emirates Air Force F-16E/F Block 60 jets arriving at an airbase in Jordan were released by the Jordanian Armed Forces on Feb. 8.

UAE F-16 Jordan

The images depict the warplanes which were deployed to help Jordan and the US-led coalition in the fight against ISIS. The kingdom has conducted 56 air strikes against ISIS positions in the last three days after it launched an air campaign following the burning alive of the pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh captured on Dec. 24.

UAE Jordan taxi

According to the information released by Amman, C-17 cargo planes and A330 tanker aircraft supported the deployment.

The UAE Air Force had temporarily suspended its participation in the coalition air strikes over concern for the safety of its aircrews, following Kassasbeh’s murder.

Interestingly, two of the aircraft depicted on arrival in Jordan, don’t wear the national flag on the tail. This is not the first time aircraft taking part in real operations are stripped off their national markings. Some U.S. drones deployed in sensitive areas perform their clandestine missions “unmarked.”

However, since the participation of the UAE to the anti-ISIS air war is far from being secret, the lack of the UAE flag on the tail of two F-16s could be explained by their participation in the far less advertised air strikes on Islamist militias in Libya last year.

Here below a Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16 is prepared for a mission with its bomb marked with Koranic verses Jordanian bomb

Image credit: Jordanian Armed Forces

 

Egypt and UAE Air Force jets behind mysterious airstrikes on Islamist militias in Libya

UAE and Egypt Air Force jets have conducted the mysterious series of airstrikes in Libya, a U.S. officials said earlier today.

The mysterious airstrikes that have hit Islamist militias in Tripoli at least twice during the last week were carried out by Egypt and United Arab Emirates warplanes.

This is what U.S. officials said, according to the New York Times.

Interestingly, the airstrikes were not coordinated with the U.S.: Washington was not even informed about the raids, even though some American planes have operated over Tripoli, supporting the recent evacuation of the US Embassy as well as performing surveillance missions in the area.

It looks like the aircraft (or most of them) launched from Egyptian airbases (although Cairo has always denied a direct involvement in Libya) with UAE Air Force providing aircrews, attack planes and aerial refuelers.

The first airstrikes hit various Islamist militias positions in Tripoli including an ammo depot. A second round of strikes concentrated in the southern part of the city where vehicles and rocket launchers were bombed.

Libyan authorities were unable to establish which was behind the mysterious airstrikes even if some debris, including a fin of the guidance kit for Mk 82s, pointed towards air forces equipped with aircraft capable to drop GBU-12 Paveway II 500-pound laser-guided bombs.

Now, American officials have unveiled the U.S. has collected enough evidence to determine UAE planes carried out the attacks.

Interestingly, UAE Air Force jets have already bombed Libya during 2011 Air War, when F-16s usually armed with 2 GBU-12s, 4 AIM-120 AMRAAMs and SNIPER pod (along with Mirage 2000s) took part in NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

The airstrikes have failed to prevent militias from gaining control of Tripoli airport.

Image via anonymous source

Photo: Unexploded MBDA PGM-500 500-lb guided bomb "Hakim" blown at Zintan, Libya

An unexploded “Hakim” is blown up by MAG (Mines Advisory Group) at Zintan airfield during a demo last week.

Photo credit: MAG

The MBDA PGM-500 “Hakim” is a 500-lb guided bomb that was carried by the UAE Air Force Mirage 2000s during Operation Unified Protector in Libya.

If you wondered whether the UAE AF dropped any weapon during the NATO Air War, most probably, you have an answer now.

Photo: F-16 and F-15 pilots using sunshades attached to the canopy to keep the cockpit cooler during long range flights

The following pictures, were taken on Jul. 5 by Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta.

They show the arrival at Morón airbase, Spain, of six UAE Air Force four F-16E and two F-16F fighter jets, enroute to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to take part to Red Flag 12-4.

The aircraft (3018, 3028, 3040, 3067, 3011 and 3068) used the radio callsign “Retro 51-56”.

Noteworthy, at least one of the pilots has what it’s like a car side sunshade attached to the canopy for heat/sun protection.

Fighter pilots on long range ferry flights sometimes use sunshades for UV protection and to keep the cockpit a bit cooler and more comfortable.

Here below, you can see sunhades (similar to those you use on your car) on the windshield of Saudi F-15Ss deploying to Nellis AFB, via Morón, to take part to Red Flag.

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta