Will the UAE acquire F-35s and Reaper drones? Lawmakers will try to stop the deal

WASHINGTON, (BM) – Defense News publishes a detailed article on the possibility for the UAE to purchase fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, Reaper drones, and ammunition from the United States. On Thursday [December 3], journalist Joe Gould tried to explain the upcoming situation, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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And it’s as follows: four resolutions blocking a $ 23 billion deal will be put to the vote next week in an attempt by the Senate to stop arms sales to the Emirates. The UAE’s agreement will be one of the last shots of US President Donald Trump to make a significant arms deal. His term expires in January next year when he will be succeeded in the White House by President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump’s attempt to sell weapons to the Emirates has a lot of critics. Their main point of reference is that if the deal goes through, Israel’s military risks will increase. Tel Aviv’s current military advantage in the Middle East is palpable. However, the United States aims to support the UAE’s efforts to counter a possible Iranian attack.

The UAE wants to buy 50 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets with stealth technology from the American weapons production complex. The deal includes hundreds of missiles, thousands of munitions, and at least 18 MQ-9B Reaper drones. It is noteworthy that the UAE’s request comes almost immediately after Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi “warmed up” their relationship nearly a month ago and resumed official diplomatic relations.

However, political scientists say that blocking Trump’s deal may not happen. The main reason is that four resolutions will try to do so, and it is not clear how the lawmakers will structure them. Just this ambiguity could “divorce” the vote of the legislators.

Proponents of ​​the United States’ idea of selling weapons to the UAE say that even if attempts to block Trump’s deal succeed, it is likely to take place during Joe Biden’s term. According to various lawmakers, Joe Biden is ready to continue the agreement, but with new conditions in favor of the United States and Israel.

We remind you that the UAE has already violated the arms embargo in Libya once. UAE’s actions in Libya can play a bad joke on them and not reach a deal. Senator Chris Murphy opposes the possible deal, saying that arming the UAE with such technology could seriously change the region’s situation and start “mass arming” in other countries. He talks about an arms race.

The UAE has already once convinced the United States of its “innocence” and political security. Thus, Abu Dhabi acquired F-16 fighters, Patriot anti-aircraft missile defense system, and THAAD. But the United States must also remember the fact that the UAE has excellent relations with Russia and China. However, some lawmakers argue that this fact is exaggerating.

Read more: Top 5 best fifth generation fighter jets in the World

As a last-ditch attempt by the Trump administration to push through the deal, there is political rhetoric that if the United States does not sell weapons to the UAE, Abu Dhabi will find and buy from another supplier.

UAE and Saudi Arabia abandon S-400 missile systems, want to buy Israeli Iron Dome

Russia’s anti-aircraft missile system S-400 continues to be of interest to many countries around the world, as it is believed to be the best defense system at the moment. BulgarianMilitary.com wrote earlier this year that the two Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are showing serious interest in buying these systems.

Most recently, the online news agency Eurasia wrote that the interest of the two Middle Eastern countries has changed dramatically with the S-400 air defense systems, and they no longer want to buy them. Information has appeared in international publications that the two countries are taking steps to withdraw from negotiations to acquire the Triumphs and are moving towards negotiations to acquire Israeli Iron Dome air defense systems. Such information also appeared in the annual reports of both countries. The reason for the new interest in the Israeli Iron Dome can be found in various forms, but one of them is the proven combat effectiveness of the Israeli air defense system in recent years in the Middle East and its fight against unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft and missiles.

Another main reason is the normalization of diplomatic, political and military relations between the Gulf countries and Israel, which leads to increased interest in the Iron Dome not only on both sides but also on other countries of the world. Such information is spread widely among the Israeli media as well. A number of reports by the Israeli military, as well as by analysts in the region, share the general view that “full trust” between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel is far from a concept in diplomatic relations, but it is gradually beginning to build. take considerable time to achieve.

One of the worst-hit countries in the field of air strikes in the last 24 months is Saudi Arabia. Yemeni Houthi drones and missiles have hit oil refineries, warehouses and some airports in the past two years. The Saudis have the greatest interest in buying such systems, as it turned out that the American air defense system Patriot can not meet expectations for quality air defense. We would look for a possible reason for the interest in the Iron Dome from the Saudis and the fact that the United States also recognizes the superiority of the Iron Dome over Patriot, after deciding to work with Israel to renew and modernize the Israeli air defense system.

The armament of Israeli air defense systems is also an important fact. The Barak-8 missile is a joint production between India and Israel, and in recent years this missile has shown that it accepts the challenge of “Israeli enemies” and can handle almost anything they [the enemies of Israel – ed.] Are armed with. . We are talking about all kinds of air attacks – helicopters, planes, drones, ballistic and cruise missiles and more.

Read more: Top 5 best combat drones [UAVs] in the world

However, military experts and experts see a completely different reason in the desire of the UAE and Saudi Arabia to acquire Israeli air defense systems and abandon their Russian S-400s. It is a question of the expressed desire of both parties to acquire a fifth generation F-35 fighter. For that to happen, there is no way Washington can sell the two countries the fighter jets they want if they have Russian defense systems. See Turkey as the most illustrative example.


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