UAE agrees Dh6bn deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade F-16 fighters

The United Arab Emirates has agreed a deal worth around AED6 billion (US$1.63 billion) with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) to upgrade F-16 jet fighters, a Defense Ministry official said on Sunday. The Ministry's order book during the inaugural day of the now-running Dubai Air Show 2017 included 11 new deals for international and local companies, such as Abu Dhabi Aviation, Thales, Augusta Westland and Global Aerospace Logistics.

This was announced at a news conference today by Major General Abdullah Al Sayed Al Hashemi, Assistant Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and Chairman of the Organisting Military Committee of the Dubai Airshow 2017.

He added that an AED197 million contract has been signed with Abu Dhabi Aviation to operate and manage a number of AW139 aircrafts for emergency medical service, search and rescue, disaster relief, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, fire fighting, maritime security and other government duties. Another AED10 million contract has been awarded to Abu Dhabi Aviation to provide air transport services for military sites, he added, "The UAE armed forces signed also an AED25 million with Global Aerospace Logistics to provide technical and specialised support for the Patriot System Maintenance Centre.

The ministry also announced other deals, including AED66 million to U.S.-based OTNA INC for Blu-109 ammunition and an AED 35.1 million agreement with Thales Communications and Security SAS (TCFP.PA) to secure defence communications.

Another contract worth AED43.704 million has been signed with AgustaWestland to modernise aircraft AB139.

"The day's last deal was with the UAE Thales Advanced Solutions worth AED14.634 million to modernise a number of radar cabins and install radio systems.

"These deals reflect the UAE armed forces' keenness to ensure high combat readiness, he said, noting that the volume of military deals in the event is not determined by the level of military tension in the region but rather by the real requirements of the armed forces.

The total volume of military deals conducted by the Armed Forces during the show will be announced in full detail by the end of the show, he added.

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