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Monday, April 21, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

Jordan blames technical flaws for all 3 F-16 crashes this year

AMMAN — The Royal Jordanian Air Force has suffered the third in a series of crashes by its U.S.-origin fighter-jet.

At least three F-16 multi-role fighters have crashed in Jordan in 2008. In all the crashes, the air force said it suspected technical faults.

On Sunday, the air force reported the latest F-16 crash, in which a pilot was killed. A military spokesman said the F-16 crashed during a routine training mission, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Hamzah Abbadi died when the Royal Air Force F-16 fighter crashed at 1015 GMT during training," an air force statement said.

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In January 2008, two F-16s crashed in training missions in Jordan. The air force, which plans to expand its F-16 fleet to 70, reported the killing of four pilots.

Jordan has a fleet of about 50 F-16A/B fighters. Most of the fighters were supplied by the United States over the last decade.

In 2007, Jordan concluded deals for more than a dozen F-16s with Belgium and the Netherlands. Unlike the U.S. surplus aircraft, the European F-16s had undergone a mid-life upgrade by Lockheed Martin.



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