The US has reached a deal to sell $3.48 billion worth of missiles and related technology to the United Arab Emirates. The agreement came days after the announced sale of $30 billion worth of F-15SA fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. The two agreements are part of a massive defense buildup by Arab states of the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions in their relationships with Iran.
The UAE deal includes 96 missiles, along with supporting technology and training support, including a contract with Lockheed Martin to produce the highly sophisticated Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, weapon system for the country. This is the first time the THAAD system is sold to a foreign military [AP, 31 December].
The US is already upgrading the Saudi’s Patriot missiles at a cost of $1.7 billion, and is providing 209 Patriot missiles to Kuwait valued at $900 million.
The F-15SA deal with the Saudis includes 84 new fighter jets and upgrades for 70 more.
Top Photo: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor missile being test launched. 5 October 2011. U.S. Missile Defense Agency/AP.
Bottom Photo: Saudi F15SA Strike Eagles. Boeing/The Washington Post.