US approves sale of F-35 jets, MQ-9B RPA and munitions to UAE

11 November 2020 (Last Updated November 11th, 2020 11:34)

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to the UAE.

US approves sale of F-35 jets, MQ-9B RPA and munitions to UAE
The first delivered USAF F-35A Lighting II joint strike fighter aircraft. Credit: USAF / Staff Sgt Joely Santiago.

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to the UAE.

The sale includes related equipment and is estimated to be worth $10.4bn.

The approval follows informal notification to Congress about its support for the proposed sale of F-35A Lighting II joint strike fighter aircraft to the UAE last month.

Under the deal, the UAE has requested the sale of 50 F-35A JSF conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft and 54 Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines, of which 50 will be installed and four are spares.

Additionally, the proposed sale package includes electronic warfare systems, command, control, communications, computer and intelligence / communications, navigational, and identification (C4I/CNI) and autonomic logistics global support system (ALGS) among others.

In addition, the department has approved the FMS of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to the UAE.

The deal, including the related equipment, is worth around $2.97bn. It includes the sale of 18 weapons-ready MQ-9B RPA, 25 Raytheon Multi-spectral targeting systems-D (MTS-D) EO/IR sensors, and 19 Lynx AN/APY-8 synthetic aperture radars (SAR).

Furthermore, the UAE has requested munitions, sustainment and support under a deal worth $10bn.

The package consists of 802 AIM-120C8 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM), 16 AIM-120C8 AMRAAM guidance sections spares and 2,004 MK-82 500LB general purpose (GP) bombs.

The sale also includes 72 MK-82 Inert 500LB GP bombs and 1,000 MK-84 2,000LB GP bombs among others.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress about the sales.

In a statement, DSCA said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner.

“The UAE has been, and continues to be, a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”