September 10, 2008 / 1:52 PM / 11 years ago

U.S. to sell $7 bln missile-defense system to UAE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has proposed the sale of air defense systems and helicopters to the United Arab Emirates, with a total potential value of more than $9 billion, the U.S. Defense Department said in statements released on Wednesday.

An intercept test for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in an undated photo. The so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, is built by Lockheed Martin with a system radar from Raytheon. REUTERS/SMDC/ARSTRAT/Handout

The main item, worth up to $7 billion, is the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp with a system radar from Raytheon Co, and could be used for possible defense against Iran.

The package also includes up to $774 million for 14 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment from United Technologies Corp unit Sikorsky Aircraft and General Electric Co.

Another segment worth up to $737 million would provide UAE with Avenger and Vehicle Mounted Stinger Launch Platform fire units from units of Boeing Co and Raytheon.

UAE would also receive up to $445 million in Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (SL-AMRAAM) from Raytheon.

The package also includes up to $121 million for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Systems from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Once notified of a proposed arms sale by the administration, Congress has 30 days to review it, but almost never blocks it.

The statements, dated September 9, were released on the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency website on Wednesday.

“This is a long-term defensive requirement,” a Gulf defense source said, “and both sides have been discussing this program for several years while the United States was testing the system.”

In recent years, the UAE has acquired advanced weapons systems from several countries, including the United States.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and David Morgan in Washington and Lin Noueihed in Dubai; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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