The United Arab Emirates reported the loss of a combat aircraft in Yemen on Monday 14th March. Both pilots were killed. It was subsequently confirmed that the aircraft in question was a Mirage 2000-9.The UAE is one of the most important partners in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, launched in 2015, that is seeking to reinstate the internationally recognised government which was overthrown by Shia Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
The aircraft was reportedly taking part in air strikes near Aden in the south of the country. The circumstances of the accident are unknown, though some reports mention a technical problem.
The UAE possesses a fleet of 58 Mirage 2000-9s, the most advanced member of the Dassault Mirage 2000 family, with enhanced air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. The Emirates — currently in negotiations to purchase the Rafale — also requested additional weapon points on their aircraft.
It has been reported that the UAE aircraft are equipped to launch the AASM “Hammer” air-to-ground modular weapon.
The UAE Air Force also operates a large fleet of Block 60 F-16E/Fs, with their distinctive shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks and APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.