The UAE Ministry of Defence has awarded contracts worth Dh5.23 billion ($1.42bn) on the first day of the Dubai Airshow, with the biggest deal of the day going to Progressive Technologies.
The ministry signed a Dh2.67bn deal with Progressive for supply of ammunition for the UAE Air Force and Air Defence (Afad), a ministry representative told a media briefing on Sunday.
The UAE also signed a Dh2.46bn contract with Airbus Defence and Space to procure two Airbus 330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft for the UAE Air Force, which will be in addition to the three aircraft the Air Force is already operating, said Maj Gen Staff Pilot Ishaq Al Balushi, head of the ministry's Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defence Capabilities.
The ministry also signed two deals with France’s Thales for communication systems and the supply of spare parts and maintenance, according to ministry spokeswoman Lt Col Sarah Al Hajri.
The Dubai Airshow taking place this week in person is the first major global aerospace exhibition in two years since the aviation industry was hit by the worst crisis in its history and is a bellwether for the sector's rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year's civil and military exhibition – a major display of products from jumbo jets to military drones – was held against the backdrop of the pandemic and is significant because it indicates a return to some degree of normality in an industry profoundly changed by the crisis.
About 1,200 companies are exhibiting at this year's air show, of which 371 are new exhibitors and 80 are start-ups.