Washington: The US has inked a USD 3.48
million arms deal that includes sale of as many as 96 missiles
to crucial Middle East ally UAE, as Washington gears up for
increased tensions in the region with Iran.
While the announcement of the deal came yesterday, at a
time of increased tension with Iran, Pentagon Press Secretary
George Little said in a statement that the deal was inked on
December 25 when the US and UAE signed a Letter of Offer and
Acceptance (LOA) for a Foreign Military Sales-configured
Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System, valued at
approximately USD 3.48 billion.
The announcement came within days of another USD 30
million arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and also close on the
heels of the sale of Patriot missiles to Kuwait, the other two
staunch US allies in the region.
"This contract will deliver 2 THAAD batteries, 96
missiles, two AN/TPY-2 radars, and 30 years of spare parts,
support, and training with contractor logistics support to the
UAE," Little said.
The US and the UAE enjoy a strong bilateral defence
relationship, driven by common interests in a secure and
stable Gulf region, he said.
Little said acquisition of this critical defence system
will bolster the UAE`s air and missile defence capability and
enhance the already robust ballistic missile defence
cooperation between the United States and the UAE.
"This sale is an important step in improving the region`s
security through a regional missile defence architecture, and
follows a number of recent ballistic missile defence-related
sales, including a 2011 USD 1.7 billion direct commercial
sales contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia`s Patriot missiles to
the PAC 3 configuration, and the 2011 sale of 209 Patriot
GEM-T missiles to Kuwait, valued at approximately USD 900
million," Little said.