Nov. 10 (UPI) — The State Department approved three weapons deals to the United Arab Emirates totaling $ 23.37 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Tuesday.
The DSCA released three announcements Tuesday regarding the proposed deals: $ 10.4 billion for 50 F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take-Off and Landing aircraft, $ 10 billion for 800 AIM-120C8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles and $ 2.97 billion for 18) Weapons-Ready MQ-9B, Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
At the end of October the White House informally notified Congress of a proposed $ 10.4 billion sale of 50 F-35s to UAE, which would make the country the second in the Middle East — after Israel — to own the planes.
Congress still needs to approve the deals, and the State Department’s approval does not reflect a finalized agreement by the UAE.
The deal announcement comes a little over a month after the signing of the Abraham Accords in September, a peace treaty involving Israel, Bahrain and UAE — and in the midst of tension between the United States and NATO ally Turkey.
In 2019, Turkey was removed from the list of F-35 components manufacturers.
“The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success. The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with U.S. partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.”