Subscribe Free
in Defence

UAE inks deal with US to buy F-35 Jets

Posted 22 January 2021 · Add Comment

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now poised to become the first Arab state to acquire the F-35 fighter aircraft from the United States, after Washington signed an agreement to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets and up to 18 armed drones hours before Joseph Biden was sworn into office.

 

Image:  Lockheed Martin

According to Reuters, citing unnamed sources, the deliveries of the Lockheed Martin-built stealth fighters through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package could start as early as 2027.

 

The proposed deal was made possible after the UAE and Israel announced on August 13, 2020 that they would normalise relations, and particularly since they signed the Abraham Accords. Also, after the U.S. assured to maintain Israel’s technological superiority in arms over its neighbours.

 

The State Department had cleared an FMS package of about US$23 billion including 50 F-35As for US$10.4 billion, 18 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems-built MQ-9B Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) worth about US$3 billion and munitions worth US$10 billion.

 

The F-35A fighters will be the Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft and will be powered by Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines.

 

Neither State Department nor the UAE Embassy in Washington wished to comment on the signing of the agreement. However, UAE's Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba had earlier termed that F-35 would be the "frontline defence" for the UAE, U.S. and partners. “It improves U.S.-UAE interoperability and allows us to be more effective together.  It makes us all safer," Otaiba had said.

 

The sale will hep improve UAE’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing enhanced capabilities to deter aggression in the region and help improve the functioning of various aircraft platforms in effective defence of air, land, and sea. The sale of the missiles/munitions and support will increase interoperability with the U.S. and align the UAE Air Force’s capabilities with existing regional baselines.

 

Now the question is whether the new Joe Biden administration would seek to stall the deal.

 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

TATV - Newsround Feb 4: Bahrain's boost, Nigeria's plans and Dubai's training magic

The first TATV Newsround programme brings an overview of the main talking points in the news from the aviation, defence and aerospace industry in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

IDEX: Collins Aerospace targets Middle East fighter seats

Collins Aerospace is looking at upgrading the F-15 and F-16 aircraft in the Middle East with its next generation ACES 5 ejection seats.

IDEX: Israel’s Aeronautics makes IDEX debut

Israel-based Aeronautics Group, a provider of integrated turnkey solutions based on unmanned systems platforms, payloads and communications for defence and HLS markets, presented its Orbiter 4 STUAS and Orbiter 1K Loitering

Qatar Airways Cargo joins Validaide as a Premium Member

Qatar Airways Cargo has joined Validaide Capabilities Platform as a premium member.

IDEX: Virtual reality training in real time

Visitors had the chance to experience the thrill of flying a fast jet with CAE’s digitally immersive training and operational support solutions at their stand at IDEX in Abu Dhabi.

Covid-19 changes the IT spending priorities for airports and airlines

The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused IT spending priorities for airlines and airports in 2020 as revenue plunged and the industry faced new health and operational requirements needed to keep flying, according to SITA.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
Arab Aviation Summit BT1002230321DAS21_BTAviation MENA 2021World Defence Show 2022Aviation Africa 2021 BTNNIDEX 2021 BT26221