Morocco’s Royal Air Force Takes Part in Military Drills in UAE
Morocco’s Royal Air Force (FRA) sent its F-16 fighter jets to take part in the “Advanced Tactical Leadership Course” (ATLC) held in the Al Dhafra air base, 30 km away from Abu Dhabi.
The exercise brings together air forces of Gulf countries in addition to Egypt, the US and the UK, said the website Far-Maroc specializing in military news.
Besides F-16, other fighter jets are taking part in these air exercise including F-15, Typhoons and Rafales.
Al Dhafra is a joint UAE and USAF base, which, whilst the home to the majority of the Emirates fast jet force, is also home to the US KC-10 air-air refueling aircraft which is involved in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Last January, the Royal Air Force said it will upgrade its fleet of F16 fighter jets with electronic warfare systems supplied by Harris Corporation under a contract worth $91 million.
Morocco’s F-16s are equipped with a variety of extra equipment, including Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, Goodrich DB-110 airborne reconnaissance pods and Raytheon’s Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES). Armament includes AIM-9X Block II Sidewinders with lock on after launch capability, AGM-65D Maverick air-to-surface missiles and Enhanced GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb kits.
The Moroccan Air Force are deployed in the Bengrir air base near Marrakech. They have been used in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis. One of these jets was lost in a crash due to reportedly technical failure.
The delivery of these fighter jets places Morocco among an elite group of air forces who operate the advanced multirole F-16 air craft.