They cost around $80 million each, are more technologically superior to the Israeli models and it took just seven months for the UAE air force to destroy its first F-16 Block 60 fighter jet this week.
Known as the Desert Falcon, a brand new F-16 crashed during a practice mission Monday. The pilot bailed out and landed safely, the official Emirates News Agency said.
It did not say how the crash occurred. An investigation to determine the cause of the accident in underway, the report said. The F-16 Block 60 reportedly belonged to a team participating in Al Ain Aerobatic Show, the Gulf News said.
The United Arab Emirates has ordered 80 of the jets in a deal with Lockheed Martin worth over $ 8 billion, including development costs. The Block 60 is the most advanced version of the F-16 line of jets. The first batch of 10 was delivered in May.
These multi-role fighter/bombers are supposedly more technology advanced than Israel's F-16I Block 52+ "Sufa." Israel is currently receiving 102 of the Sufa's as part of a deal worth $4.5 billion. The first arrived nearly two years ago. None are known to have been involved in any mishaps.
Neither the US Air Force nor the IAF have Block 60 F-16s. They are waiting for the JSF, joint strike fighter.