Relative to its size, the United Arab Emirates maintains a potent, modern fighting air service.
POWER INDEX SCORE
(Ranked 27 of 53)
With just under 330 total aircraft, the air service of the United Arab Emirates is quite sizeable and potent - good qualities to have in the tumultuous Gulf Region. The fighter force is a mix of American F-16 'Fighting Falcon' lightweight multirole and French-originated M2000 multirole types - each capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties (though the latter is less-so). For low-and-slow Close-Air Support (CAS), the service has invested in the S2R 'Archangel' and AT-802I platforms which provide much-needed depth and can be used in conjunction with the high-performance jets, helicopter force, and UAE ground forces to maximize effectiveness of the service as a whole.
The helicopter force, while modest in overall number (accounting for just 5% of total strength), can cover a variety of roles from VIP transport and Search & Rescue (SAR) to general utility. The fixed-wing transport fleet receives a commitment of 9% and covers the usual strategic, tactical, and utility types seen in other modern air services. Aerial refuling is handled by the French-made KC-30A. The special missions branch consists of two platforms to cover patrol and AEW roles.
The branch of note is the training force which accounts for some 45% of all strength. This group is centered on all facets of modern airman training, for both fixed-wing and rotorcraft students, and includes special-minded types such as fighters and basic flight.
Steps have been taken to ensure strength remains at the forefront of the UAE air service with attack helicopters, transports, and special mission platforms on order.NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
164 Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
229 Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
245 Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
262 Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.