The United Arab Emirates has finalized a $3.48 billion weapons acquisition from the United States, which is seeking to bolster the antimissile capabilities of nations around Iran, Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday (see GSN, Aug. 25, 2011).
The Arab state has become the first nation to buy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, according to U.S. government sources. The sale would provide the Persian Gulf country with two THAAD firing units, 96 interceptors, two detection systems, additional components and preparation services for personnel, Defense Department spokesman George Little said in released remarks.
The THAAD system is intended to eliminate ballistic missiles in their late phase of flight, either within or beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
"This sale is an important step in improving the region's security through a regional missile defense architecture," Little said. The United States announced the deal on Friday.
"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," Little said.
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has received a $1.96 billion deal to provide the two interceptor firing units, the Defense Department said (Dan De Luce, Agence France-Presse/Google News, Dec. 31, 2011).