US agrees $2 billion missile sale to UAE

US agrees $2 billion missile sale to UAE
Abu Dhabi has had a request to purchase US-made Patriot missiles approved, in the latest sale to the Gulf region which has seen a surge in arms spending.
2 min read
12 May, 2017
The Patriot missile defence system has been deployed across the region [AFP]

The US has approved a UAE bid to purchase 160 Patriot missiles for an estimated $2 billion, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Should the sale go ahead it will see the Gulf state purchase 60 Patriot missiles with canisters and 100 Patriot guidance enhanced missiles, among other military equipment, according to a department of defence statement.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of an important ally which has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," it said.

Much of the UAE's military hardware is made in the US, while Abu Dhabi looks to expand its own local defence industry.

The UAE - along with Saudi Arabia - is one of the lead members of an Arab coalition supporting the Yemen government.

Fighting between Yemeni forces and Houthi-led rebel force - along with Saudi-led air strikes - have caused 10,000 deaths, while the country stands on the edge of famine.

The UAE had reportedly pulled its Patriot missile system from south Yemen, but rising tensions in Adan as Abu Dhabi supports a southern separatist leader has raised a question mark over the country's new role.

Agencies contributed to this article.