by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Sep 30, 2014
The United Arab Emirates is requesting artillery rocket systems from the United States as it continues to strengthen its ground forces.
The request for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, was made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program and is worth an estimated $900 million.
The UAE had earlier requested more than 4,500 refurbished Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles through the FMS program at a cost of $2.5 billion.
"The HIMARS will improve the UAE's capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure," the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its required notification to Congress. "This proposed sale will also enhance the UAE's interoperability with the U.S. and its allies, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world."
The HIMARS system consists of six rockets launched from a five-ton truck. They have a maximum range of about 186 miles.
DSCA said the UAE is seeking a dozen HIMARS launchers, including the trucks; 165 rockets; resupply vehicles; 90 practice rocket pods; support equipment; communications equipment; spare and repair parts; test sets; batteries; laptop computers; training; and systems integration support.
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control would be the principal contractor for the deal. As many as 10 U.S. government or contractor representatives would be required to travel to the UAE for as long as one year for equipment de-processing/fielding, system checkout and training, the agency said.
The U.S. State Department has already given its approval for the proposed sale.
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