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UAE orders weapons worth Dh3 billion at arms show

An Emirati man walks past US-made armoured vehicles on the opening day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)


The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday the award of military contracts worth Dh2.54 billion ($692 million), bringing its total value of orders at the 2009 Idex defence exhibition to Dh3 billion.

Two other deals still under negotiation would be worth over Dh469 million ($128 million), Idex spokesman General Obeid al-Ketbi told reporters on the second day of the region's largest arms fair.

The total value of orders announced by the UAE forces at the exhibition, including the two under negotiation, is just over Dh3 billion ($819 million), he said.

Local company Abu Dhabi Ship Building has won two contracts to supply 12 vessels and renovate 12 others, for a total of Dh935 million ($255 million), Ketbi said.

French group Thales Communication was awarded two contracts worth Dh329.6 million ($89 million) for signalling equipment and to supply its Sotas communication system for Leclerc tanks.

Discussions are underway with US giant Boeing for the provision of spare parts for Chinook helicopters and to provide training, in a contract which would be worth Dh373.4 million ($102 million) altogether.

US defence giant Lockheed Martin said on Monday it is hoping to sell the UAE between up to 12 military air transport C-130J jets before the end of 2009 to upgrade its ageing fleet.