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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 12, 1998
                          VICE PRESIDENT GORE 
                 ANNOUNCES UAE's PURCHASE OF 80 F-16's

                    Valued at Nearly $8 Billion, 
            Sale Will Bring Close to 15,000 Jobs to Texas

Washington, DC--Vice President Gore and the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today announced that the UAE will purchase of 80 F-16's, bringing close to 15,000 new jobs to Texas and nearly 30,000 nationwide.

Today's deal will create thousands of new jobs -- and that's good news for Texas and good news for America, Vice President Gore said. The UAE is a key pro-western Arab ally and this sale will make a tremendous contribution to preserving the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf region.

In a ceremony at the White House, His Highness Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan informed the Vice President that the UAE will purchase 80 F-16's for a total of nearly $8 billion. F-16's are produced by Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems in Fort Worth, Texas.

After a two-year competition period in which the United States was tested against rival advanced aircraft proffered by other countries, the UAE chose the F-16 because of its superior performance. The sale affirms that over the span of its production, the F-16 has continued to be a world leader in capability, versatility and superb quality and remains at the cutting edge of systems and weapons technology.

Along with validating America's superior defense technology, the UAE's decision to enter into a partnership with the United States underscores its strategic interest in developing and maintaining a relationship with this nation. The UAE has been an ally during and since the Gulf War, and provided essential support for U.S. Forces deployed to the Gulf region.

This sale builds on the Administration's successful efforts to expand economic opportunity for Texas. Since 1993, unemployment has fallen from 7.6 to 4.6 percent. To date, 1,422,600 new jobs have been created in Texas since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office.

The Administration hopes to officially notify Congress about the sale of the F-16's in next few months.