x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE's request for $1.1bn missile-defence system goes to US Congress

Congress told about possible sale of Lockheed Martin missile systems to the UAE and Qatar.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor being launched from Meck Island on its way to intercept a ballistic missile target during a flight test on October 24, 2012. (AFP / US Department of Defense / Missile Defense Agency)
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor being launched from Meck Island on its way to intercept a ballistic missile target during a flight test on October 24, 2012. (AFP / US Department of Defense / Missile Defense Agency)

The US Congress has been told about the possible sale of missile systems worth up to $7.6 billion to the UAE and Qatar.

The UAE has requested a possible sale of 48 Terminal Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles and nine launchers along with other equipment according to a United States defence department statement.

The missile systems would be supplied by US military giants Lockheed Martin and Raytheon at an estimated cost of US$1.135 billion.

“This proposed sale will help strengthen the UAE’s capability to counter current and future threats in the region,” said the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Qatar may also purchase a $6.5 billion missile defence system, the agency said. It would comprise two THAAD fire units, 150 Interceptors and other equipment including an early warning radar.

Lawmakers now have 30 days to block the potential sales although such action is rare, since deals are carefully vetted with lawmakers weeks before the notifications are posted, according to Reuters.

scronin@thenational.ae