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Fri 30 Dec 2011 10:29 AM

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UAE said to sign $3.49bn Lockheed missile deal

US official says UAE on board for first int'l sale of Lockheed's new missile interceptor

UAE said to sign $3.49bn Lockheed missile deal
Image shows the Hellfire II missile, made by US defence firm Lockheed Martin. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

The US and the UAE have signed a deal valued at as much as $3.49bn for the first international sale of Lockheed Martin Corp’s newest missile interceptor, according to government officials.

The initial installment of a so-called “undefinitised contract action” is valued at about $1.96bn, according to a US government official.

The Pentagon may announce the contract action as soon as next week, said the official, who was not authorised to discuss the signing prior to its announcement.

The interceptors are a centrepiece of the regional defence that the Obama administration plans to deploy in the Middle East against Iran’s medium- and long-range ballistic missiles.

Batteries of land-based interceptors would be linked to the US Navy’s detection systems on Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers.

Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad, missile interceptors are produced in Troy, Alabama, and the fire control equipment and launchers are made in Camden, Arkansas. Lockheed Martin is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Raytheon, of Waltham, Massachusetts, provides the radar, and Honeywell, of Morris Township, New Jersey, makes the missile’s mission computer.

Aerojet, part of GenCorp, based in Rancho Cordova, California, makes the Thaad rocket motor. The US subsidiary of the UK’s BAE Systems produces the missile seeker.

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Jennifer Whitlow said the company was continuing to work with the Pentagon’s Missile Defence Agency on the contract. She declined to discuss the timing of any announcement.

The UAE would be the first Thaad international buyer. In September 2008, when it was first proposed for congressional approval, the Pentagon said the deal would be valued at up to $6.95bn if all options were exercised.

In August 2010 the UAE scaled back the sale by about one-third. It “adjusted its requirement” to 96 interceptors from 144.

The UAE also reduced its purchase - from four to two - of Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 mobile search and tracking radar. The new radar plan supports two missile batteries, rather than three, according to a Missile Defence Agency document.

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Maroun 8 years ago

What is going on? Is the media hinting anything to us?First Saudi buys 29.4bn worth of fighter jets from U.S , now U.A.E is buying 3.49bn worth of missiles ......

procan 8 years ago

@Maroun reality check, UAE has been very robust as have KSA in military purchases with there USA partner . Surely you understand how close the Royal Saudi family is to USA.Together they have become a formidable force against there mutual adversary.