ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates on Monday awarded Raytheon Co. a 5.7 billion dirhams ($1.55 billion) contract to supply its air force with platform systems to launch missiles, a UAE military spokesman said.
The agreement was signed at the week-long IDEX military exhibition in Abu Dhabi and followed the award on Sunday of a 1.3 billion dirhams contract to Raytheon to supply the UAE with patriot missiles.
The UAE armed forces signed a total of 7.2 billion dirhams in contracts on Monday, including 5.8 billion dirhams with international companies, Brigadier General Mohammed al-Hassani said, speaking through a translator.
The UAE has signed a total of 12 billion dirhams in contracts since the IDEX exhibition started on Sunday, he said.
Lockheed Martin, Germany’s Diehl Defence, and Sweden’s Saab on Monday launched at IDEX the Falcon air defense weapon system, billed as a replacement to the Hawk system used by countries in the Middle East.
Falcon was developed in response to a UAE request for a replacement for the Hawk system and talks are underway to sell it to the Gulf state, Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice-president and deputy head of Integrated Air and Missile Defense said.
Weapons sales to the UAE have come under scrutiny over the past year due to the country’s involvement in the Yemen war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a military coalition, which includes local forces drawn from Yemeni factions, that is trying to restore the internationally recognized government ousted from power in 2014 by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
Writing by Alexander Cornwell. Editing by Jane Merriman