Idex 2015: UAE armed forces sign Dh9.5 billion worth of defence contracts

The UAE armed forces has announced Dh9.5 billion worth of orders for ships, satellites and armoured vehicles.

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The armed forces announced Dh9.5 billion worth of orders for ships, satellites and armoured vehicles at the International Defence Exhibition in the capital yesterday.

The biggest contract went to the French groups Airbus and Thales Alenia Space.

Airbus Defence and Thales Alenia Space won a joint Dh3.745bn deal to provide two satellites and ground control stations to the UAE’s armed forces for military purposes, according to the Idex spokesman Major General Obaid Al Ketbi.

The second biggest deal was a Dh2.4bn contract between the armed forces and UAE’s Al Taif Technical Services to provide maintenance services to the ground force’s vehicles. The third biggest contract went to the UAE’s state-owned defence vehicle manufacturer Nimr Automotive, which produces 4x4 and 6x6 armoured and non-armoured vehicles, for up to 1000 Nimr vehicles.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building won a Dh870 million contract to provide two ships and Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments won a Dh490 million deal for unmanned systems.

Yesterday’s Dh9.5bn figure compares with Dh14.1bn worth of deals announced at the previous edition of Idex in 2013.

The UAE, which is participating in the US-led effort against ISIL targets in Syria, is also still in talks to purchase fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation, among others, according to Major General Al Ketbi.

“It is ongoing. It’s a question of time,” he said.

Yesterday, the Eurofighter consortium said it is keen to reopen talks with the UAE in a new bid to sell its Typhoon fighter jets more than a year after a deal for up to 60 of its aircraft fell through.

Meanwhile, Canada said it is chasing C$3.5 billion (Dh10.21bn) worth of defence deals from the Middle East this year as western defence budgets are slashed.

The country was determined to make an impact at Idex by splashing C$2.5m on its pavilion at the show, where 53 Canadian companies are displaying their products – up from 42 at Idex 2013.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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