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UAE closer to nextgen fighter deal

Posted 11 November 2020 · Add Comment

The UAE has edged closer to getting the F-35s it wants for its next generation fighter aircraft needs.

The U.S. State Department approved a massive package of F-35 fighter jets and MQ-9 unmanned systems for the the UAE, although the $23.4 billion deal is subject to approval by Congress and it is widely reported that the Democrats – party of the incoming President Joe Biden – will oppose the deal.

The order – if it goes ahead - includes up to 50 F-35s, 18 MQ-9Bs and $10 billion worth of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran,” said Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State. “The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape. Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success.”

The sale became more likely ever since the signing of peace agreements between Israel and the UAE. The administration previously informally notified Congress of the sale’s details, with leading foreign policy Democrats signaling they would act to block it.

Image:Lockheed Martin

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