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UAE announces $3.09 bn in defence deals

by Staff Writers
Dubai (AFP) Feb 23, 2011
The United Arab Emirates has announced 11.68 billion dirhams (3.09 billion dollars/2.249 billion euros) in defence deals in three days, the official WAM news agency reported on Wednesday.

Major General Obaid al-Ketbi announced 3.68 billion dirhams (about $1 billion) on Wednesday, according to WAM.

"With the 8 billion dirhams worth of defence deals... on the second and third day of the event, today's announcements brought to 11.680 billion dirhams the total value of contracts" announced at a defence expo in Abu Dhabi, WAM said.

Among other contracts announced on Wednesday, the "Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company was awarded an 800.5 million dirham ($218.1 million) contract for purchase of RAM missiles," Ketbi said.

The 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi runs until Thursday.

The largest deal announced on Tuesday was one for 2.018 billion dirhams ($550 million) with Emiraje Systems to implement a command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) system, Ketbi said.

Also on Tuesday, a Lockheed Martin official said that he expected an agreement to be concluded this spring for the United Arab Emirates to buy an anti-ballistic missile system reputedly worth about $7 billion.

"I think ... sometime this spring, we'll get some positive news that the two governments have reached an agreement" on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, said Dennis Cavin, Lockheed Martin vice president for international air and missile defence.

Manufacturers from around the world are racing to seal contracts with Gulf states, fearful of Iran and with their spending power buoyed by high oil prices.

The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait -- along with Jordan are set to spend $68 billion (49.6 billion euros) on defence in 2011, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Their spending is expected to reach nearly $80 billion in 2015.

The deals come as several Arab leaders are battling widespread revolts against their rules that have already Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

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