Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UPI) Nov 12, 2010
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to sell the United Arab Emirates 60 Boeing AH-64D Apache strike helicopters worth $5 billion -- even as Washington turns up the heat on the Persian Gulf state to curb trade with Iran.
The Defense Department said Monday it had notified the U.S. Congress last week of the proposed sale. Lawmakers have 30 days to approve or reject the sale, although no significant opposition is expected.
The proposed sale is part of a massive arms package for the Arab states of the gulf valued at $122 billion over the next decade. It is intended to beef up their military capabilities to counter Iran, with a new focus on their offensive capabilities.
"The volume of arms purchases by the United Arab Emirates," a federation of seven emirates in the southern gulf, "has increased significantly over the past 10 years and is likely to remain a major arms buyer in the coming years," said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which monitors global arms sales.
The emirates' air force is its most potent military component, with 155 combat aircraft. Saudi Arabia, which has the largest air force in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council alliance, has 280.
Thirty AH-64D Apaches were delivered to the emirates in 2008-09. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees U.S. foreign arms sales, said the emirates sought 30 new combat helicopters -- 30 AH-64D Block II craft remanufactured to Block III configuration, and 30 Block III variants.
These would be accompanied by spare engines, radars and sensor systems. Lockheed Martin would deliver 100 Army Tactical Missile Systems and 60 low-cost, reduced-range practice rockets under a $140 million contract.
The emirates are also expected to take delivery of four Patriot MIM-104 PAC-3 air-defense missile batteries built by Raytheon, 60 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk armed transport helicopters and 12 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 and six Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
France will be providing three A-330 MRTT tanker/transport aircraft built by Airbus Industries and six Baynunah-class corvettes designed by France's Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie. The first corvette, built at CMN's yard, is undergoing sea trials. The other five will be constructed by Abu Dhabi Ship Building.
Russia is due to deliver up to 50 Pantsir S1 short-range air-defense missile systems, with Italy providing two Falaj-2 corvettes and one Abu Dhabi-class frigate.
The emirates plan to acquire two other Falaj-class vessels and another Abu Dhabi-class frigate.
The emirates also seek three Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missiles systems built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, a deal worth up to $7 billion and cleared by Congress in September.
The air force is also seeking 16 twin-engine Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift transport helicopters from the United States.
They plan to acquire 60 combat aircraft from the United States or France, 48 M-346 advanced trainer aircraft from Italy's Alenia Aermacchi, plus three early warning aircraft, for which several countries are bidding.
Meantime, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing the emirates, particularly its banks and companies, to tighten the economic squeeze on Iran under sanctions imposed by the United Nations in June.
It isn't clear whether U.S. efforts to persuade the emirates, in particular Dubai, its financial hub, to crack down on sanctions busters are linked to the emirates' military procurement program.
But the Americans say there's a heavy flow of dual-use equipment, which can be used for military purposes as well as civilian, being smuggled into Iran through Dubai in spite of the sanctions, imposed because Tehran refuses to abandon its alleged nuclear arms program.
"Dubai has become a much more difficult place to do business with Iran, as credit lines from banks have dried up," the Financial Times reports."But the United States is keeping up the pressure."
The emirates' trade with Iran was estimated at $12 billion in 2009 but that's expected to nosedive this year as banks withdraw credit lines.
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the emirates' economic powerhouse and which controls arms procurement, has traditionally taken a tougher line on Iran than the more freewheeling Dubai, which has long-standing banking, trade and smuggling links with Iran across the Persian Gulf.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
The Military Industrial Complex at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
India flight tests Kaveri engine in Russia
New Delhi (UPI) Nov 11, 2010
India has successfully flight-tested its Kaveri jet engine using an Ilyushin Il-76 transport as a test bed flown in Russia. "The engine was tested from takeoff to landing and flew for a period of over one hour up to at an altitude of [19,700 feet] at a speed of Mach 0.6 in its maiden flight," a statement by India's defense ministry said. "The engine control, performance and healt ... read more
Russia says open to missile defence cooperation with NATO|
Boeing Submits Proposal For Next Generation Aegis Missile Contract
Northrop Grumman Enters Competition For Next-Gen Aegis Missile
Lockheed Martin Receives Contract For Aegis Production
Pentagon says vapor trail from an aircraft, not a missile
UAE Missile Deal Worth 140 Million Announced
Iran to test own S-300 missiles despite Russia: commander
Mystery missile vapor trail stumps Pentagon
US drone strike kills four militants in Pakistan: officials
Kestrel Supports Project NANKEEN In Afghanistan
Multi-Purpose UAVs To Get NG STARLite Radars
US drone strikes kill nine militants in Pakistan
Northrop Grumman Bids for Marine Corps Common Aviation CnC
DSP Satellite System Celebrates 40 Years
ManTech Awarded US Army Contract To Provide ECCS In Afghanistan
Hughes Undergoing Wideband Global SATCOM Certification
Finland decommissions trainer jets
Boeing Receives Small Diameter Bomb Contract Extension
Military confirms second body recovered from fighter crash
Eye In The Sky Has The Sniper On Target
Wounded Warrior Project Expands Training For Injured Veterans
Emirates boost U.S. arms purchases
Boeing NewGen Tanker Win Would Bring Jobs And Money To Oklahoma
U.S. wins defense boost in India
Japan thanks US for support amid rows with China, Russia
Obama, Medvedev hail improving Moscow-NATO ties
China assures it is a 'good neighbour' in Asia
Poland satisfied with NATO strategic rethink: minister
Boeing Installing Beam Control System On HEL Laser Demonstrator
Maritime Laser System Shows Higher Lethality At Longer Ranges
Northrop Grumman To Increase Efficiency For Next-Gen Military Laser Technology
Boeing Receives Task Order For Design Of Free Electron Laser Lab Demonstrator
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|