The United States will likely strike a ground-breaking deal by mid next year to sell the United Arab Emirates a multibillion-dollar Lockheed Martin Corp missile defense system, Lockheed's Chief Executive said.
The so-called Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is being sought by UAE as a bulwark against short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles that could be fired by Iran. It would be the first overseas sale of this system and could be worth as much as $7 billion, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.
The projected sale is 'probably the most significant international order opportunity' among missile defense systems for now, Robert Stevens, Lockheed's Chairman and Chief Executive noted.
He said he expects the government-to-government negotiations to wrap up in the first half of 2011.