UAE Curbs Planned Antimissile Acquisition

The United Arab Emirates has reduced its anticipated order of U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense missile defense interceptors, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (see GSN, Feb. 22).

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency in an undisclosed "Selected Acquisition Report" informed lawmakers that Abu Dhabi had in August "adjusted its requirement" from 144 of the Lockheed Martin-built weapons to 96. In addition, the Middle Eastern nation has chosen to purchase two rather than four Raytheon-produced X-band radar systems, enough for two missile units instead of three, the Defense Department office said.

The maximum purchase as originally proposed could have been valued at up to $6.95 billion, the Defense Department indicated when Congress was asked in September 2008 to permit the arms sale.

The THAAD system is an integral part of a planned suite of antimissile gear Washington intends to field around Iran as a counterweight against that nation's medium- and long-range ballistic missiles, according to Bloomberg. Tracking and command equipment on Aegis-equipped U.S. Navy warships would communicate with ground-based interceptors deployed in the configuration (see GSN, Feb. 1, 2010).

In addition, the United Arab Emirates is set to acquire U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptors to provide protection against shorter-range missiles (Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg, June 23). Raytheon on Thursday announced it had finished its first significant shipment for the purchase.

The U.S. government has received three components to carry out U.N. testing to aid in "final hazard classification" for a new round of Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical missiles, marking "a significant milestone for the UAE Patriot program," Sanjay Kapoor, vice president for Patriot Programs at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, said in a statement (Raytheon release, June 23).

June 23, 2011
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The United Arab Emirates has reduced its anticipated order of U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense missile defense interceptors, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (see GSN, Feb. 22).