US approves USD23.4 billion in advanced weapons for UAE

by Jeremy Binnie

The US government has approved the sale of F-35 stealth jets, MQ-9B armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and air-launched weapons to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a statement on 10 November.

A computer-generated image of an MQ-9B armed with Hellfire missiles and Paveway bombs.  (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.)

A computer-generated image of an MQ-9B armed with Hellfire missiles and Paveway bombs. (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc)

The statement said the 50 F-35s requested by the UAE are valued at USD10.4 billion, the 18 MQ-9Bs at USD2.97 billion, and weapons at USD10 billion.

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defence capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran,” Pompeo said. “The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with US partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s long-standing commitment to ensuring Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

The Israeli government announced on 23 October that it was lifting its objection to the sale of advanced US arms to the UAE after Defence Minister Benny Gantz visited Washington to receive assurances that Israel’s regional military superiority would be maintained.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) identified the air-launched weapons requested by the UAE in one of three notifications to Congress released on 10 November. They included 650 AGM-154C Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) precision-guided glide bombs and 60 extended-range AGM-154Es (JSOW-ER), a powered version that is currently being developed by Raytheon and has yet to enter service.

The DSCA also listed 150 AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGMs), making the UAE the first Middle East country cleared for this radar-destroying weapon, and 802 AIM-120C8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs).

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-approves-234-bn-in-advanced-weapons-for-uae

The US government has approved the sale of F-35 stealth jets, MQ-9B armed unmanned aerial vehicles (...

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