The Pentagon 311.
(photo credit: Digital Vision)
WASHINGTON - The United States has signed a $3.5 billion sale of an
advanced anti-missile interception system to the United Arab Emirates,
part of an accelerating military buildup of its friends and allies near
The deal, signed on December 25 and announced on Friday
night by the US Defense Department, "is an important step in improving
the region's security through a regional missile defense architecture,"
Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement.
US concerned over Saudi weapon deal's impact on Israel
US Congress had been notified of the proposed sale in September 2008 by
former President George W. Bush's administration. At that time, the
system built by Lockheed Martin Corp had been projected to involve more
missiles, more "fire control" units, more radar sets.
the first foreign sale of the so-called Theater High Altitude Area
Defense (THAAD), the only system designed to destroy short- and
intermediate-range ballistic missiles both inside and outside the
The United States, under the
government-to-government deal, will deliver two THAAD batteries, 96
missiles, two Raytheon Co AN/TPY-2 radars plus 30 years of spare parts,
support and training with contractor logistics support to the UAE,
"Acquisition of this critical defense system will
bolster the UAE's air and missile defense capability and enhance the
already robust ballistic missile defense cooperation between the United
States and the UAE," he said.UAE deal follows recent US arms sales to Saudi Arabia
THAAD follows a $1.7 billion direct commercial contract this year to
upgrade Saudi Arabia's Patriot anti-missile missiles, and a sale this
year of 209 advanced Patriot missiles to Kuwait, valued at roughly $900
million, the Defense Department said.
On Thursday, the Obama administration announced it had sealed a deal
on December 24 to sell $29.4 billion in advanced Boeing Co F-15 fighter
jets to Saudi Arabia, the priciest single US arms sale yet.
Saudi sale involves 84 new F-15SA models to be delivered starting in
2015 plus upgrades to 70 F-15s already in the Saudi fleet and new
munitions. Congress had been notified of that deal in October 2010.
ongoing US buildup of Saudi Arabia as a counterweight to Iran is
projected to total as much as $60 billion over 10 to 15 years, including
the F-15s, three types of helicopters and advanced missiles, bombs and
other hardware and services.
In another pending arms sale to the region, the Obama administration
formally proposed in November to sell 600 "bunker buster" bombs and
other munitions to UAE in an estimated $304 million package to counter
what the Pentagon called current and future regional threats.
Israel is also being built up. It is set to receive Lockheed Martin's
new radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, the first country in
the region that will fly it.
Lockheed, the Pentagon's top supplier by sales, is being awarded an
initial US government contract worth up to $1.96 billion for the two
THAAD batteries under the government-to-government sale to UAE, the
Defense Department said in its contract digest on Friday. It said the
work was to be carried out through June 30, 2016.
Raytheon's related deal is valued at up to $582.5 million for radars and
services, with details expected to be finalized in June 2012, the
digest said. It said Raytheon also was getting a Pentagon deal worth up
to $363.9 million to start building two more AN/TPY-2 radar sets.