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$7B UAE missile deal expected this Spring

Posted on: March 3, 2011

A Lockheed Martin official said on Tuesday that he expects an agreement to be concluded this spring for the United Arab Emirates to buy an anti-ballistic missile system reputedly worth about $7 billion.

“I think … sometime this spring, we’ll get some positive news that the two governments have reached an agreement” on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, said Dennis Cavin, Lockheed Martin vice president for international air and missile defence.

“The discussions started way back in 2007 when the Emirati government expressed interest in an integrated air and missile defence system,” he said at a defence exposition in Abu Dhabi.

The missile defence consists of “the Patriot PAC-3 system, the THAAD system and then the integration” of the two.

“It’s a layered defence system,” said Thomas McGrath, Lockheed Martin vice president and THAAD programme manager, with Patriot missiles covering lower altitudes while THAAD covers higher ones.

Patriot missiles can also target cruise missiles and aircraft, while THAAD exclusively targets ballistic missiles, McGrath said.

“The two systems are integrated so that THAAD’s feeding data to Patriot all along the surveillance aspects all the way through the fire control — they exchange data,” Cavin said.

Manufacturers from around the world are racing to seal contracts with Gulf states, fearful of Iran and with their spending power buoyed by high oil prices.

The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait — along with Jordan are set to spend $68 billion (49.6 billion euros) on defence in 2011, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Their spending is expected to reach nearly $80 billion in 2015.

Source

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