FLASH: F-15 Misfortunes in the Gulf

The Pentagon announced the crash of an American F-15 fighter jet during a training mission in the United Arab Emirates, a potential buyer. Both pilots managed to eject safely from the aircraft.

A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft

A few days earlier, the Saudi Ministry of Defense announced the crash of a Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15 during a training session on April 29. The accident occurred in Tabuk and the pilot was also able to eject on time. In January 2012, during a joint training exercise in Tabuk, a Saudi F-15 collided with a French Mirage. In May 2011, a Saudi pilot was killed when his F-15 fighter jet crashed during a routine training flight in the Eastern province of the Kingdom. In August 2011, another RSAF pilot was killed when his Eurofighter Typhoon crashed in Spain during a training mission. On December 22, 2011, the RSAF announced that a BAE Hawk jet trainer crashed, without loss of life.

Saudi Arabia, which finalized a new deal to purchase F-15 fighter jets earlier this year after reconfirming its Typhoon program, is multiplying training programs for its pilots, both inside and outside the Kingdom. For example, the RSAF regularly takes part in Red Flags exercises in the United States.

After each accident, investigations are conducted, and the few reports that are leaked reveal technical failures, although human errors are timidly acknowledged when they are too obvious (F-15 – Mirage collision in Tabuk).

Update: A Saudi F-15 crashed in the Kingdom’s eastern province on Dec. 02, 2012. The pilot was killed. The following day (Dec. 03), The Ministry of Defense announced that a Saudi Hawk also crashed during a training session. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft.

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