The UAE has awarded $1.1 billion of defense contracts to local and international firms with more deals to come this week, signaling continued military spending by the oil exporter.
Global arms manufacturers are vying for deals worth billions of dollars at the ongoing IDEX Exhibition (Abu Dhabi, 20-24 February 2011).
The biggest 3 deals went to local firms with the largest, valued at Dh993.5 million ($270.6 million), awarded to Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies to upgrade and arm 23 Sikorsky's BlackHawk UH 60M helicopters on Monday.
Another deal worth Dh853.6 million was awarded to Emirates Response Service and Britain's Assetco to provide fire fighting services, human resources, equipment and maintenance.
'Some of these deals were signed just before IDEX. In the coming few days we will sign more deals,’ said Major General Obeid al Ketbi, Spokesman of IDEX.
An estimated $7 billion deal to purchase the advanced missile defense system called THAAD from Lockheed Martin is still under negotiations with a final agreement to be sealed in 'the near future,' said Ketbi.
A senior Lockheed Martin official told Reuters on Sunday the deal will be announced this Spring.
Asked about developments on a potential deal with France's Dassault’s Aviation for the supply of Rafale warplanes, Ketbi said work is still underway.