UAE signs Dh3bn in military contracts at Dubai Airshow

Major deals to supply weapons and aircraft clinched

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 20, 2019: People gather round a model of a T-7A Red Hawk at Dubai airshow. Wednesday, November 20th, 2017 at Dubai Airshow, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE Ministry of Defence has unveiled 15 major defence contracts at Dubai Airshow.

Ammunition and planes were among the military equipment purchased by the ministry in deals worth about Dh3bn, a senior official said on Wednesday.
It comes as the UAE seeks to establish itself as a major player in the defence field, with EDGE, a group of 25 local entities making its airshow debut.

Maj Gen Pilot Abdullah Al Hashemi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence for Support Services, said more than a dozen deals had been signed on the third day of the biennial event.

These included an agreement with MBDA France, a developer and manufacturer of missiles, to provide maintenance of ammunition for Mirage 2000 aircraft for Dh1.3bn.

A Dh8 million contract with Ahmed Al Mazroei Metal Industries will provide technical support and spare parts for Air Force and Air Defence.

The ministry also agreed to buy UAV systems and technical support from Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments at a cost of Dh129.8m.

Elsewhere, Lockheed Martin clinched a ministry contract to provide F16 equipment worth Dh533.3m.

“The Dubai Airshow provided an opportunity to reaffirm our enduring commitment to this dynamic region," said Robert Harward, the firm’s chief executive for the Middle East. “We actively support the UAE's goal of becoming a leader in cutting-edge defence solutions.”

Hanwha Corporation, a South Korean company that produces explosives, agreed to sell the UAE Dh220.4m-worth of ammunition.

The Ministry also bought AW139 aircraft from Leonardo Company, a defence aircraft manufacturer, for Dh155.6m.

Other deals were not disclosed but the UAE also bought two of the most advanced early detection planes in the world in a deal worth about $1bn.

GlobalEye – an early warning and control aircraft from Swedish aerospace company Saab – is particularly capable of detecting ballistic missiles.

The UAE also purchased three Airbus A330 aerial refuelling jets.

Dubai Airshow ends on Thursday and is an opportunity for defence companies to present the latest in drones, missiles and stealth technology.