[QODLink]
Middle East

UAE signs $1.4bn in defence contracts

Deals made with both local and foreign firms, including for the acquisition of unarmed Predator drones from the US.
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2013 15:52
In total, about $2.7bn in defence contracts have been signed by various countries at the IDEX show [Reuters]

The United Arab Emirates has signed defence contracts worth $1.4bn, including one for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, the country's military says.

The value of the deals was announced on the third day of the IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The largest deal, worth $380m, was for 750 mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles from Oshkosh Corp.

The UAE's armed forces also agreed to buy an undisclosed number of unarmed Predator drones from privately-owned US firm General Atomics in a deal worth $197m.

"UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these," Major General Obeid al-Ketbi told reporters on Monday at the largest arms exhibition in the Middle East, held in Abu Dhabi.

Bombs and maintenance

The UAE awarded the contract to purchase the drones to a local company, International Golden Group, which will buy them from the US firm.

The deal marks General Atomics' first sale of an unarmed version of its Predator drones in the Middle East.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are among several countries, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, asking US officials to buy armed drones but which have been rebuffed.

The US says that it is committed to an international agreement designed to limit the spread of long-range precision weaponry, which restricts drone exports.

General Atomics' export-variant Predator will have no "hard points" to attach missiles and would be deliberately engineered to make adding new weaponry impossible, the company said last year.

Separately, the UAE also signed a contract for the maintenance of military aircraft with local firm
AMMROC for $490.5m, Ketbi said.

He said the contracts also included a $117.2m deal with US manufacturer Raytheon for materials used in GBU12 and GBU58 bombs.

Tuesday's agreements bring the total value of contracts signed so far at the biennial show to $2.76bn.

310

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list