x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE in line to buy 4,900 bunker-busters from US

The munitions will "help the UAE Air Force and Air Defence become one of the most capable air forces in the region … serving US interests by deterring regional aggression".

DUBAI // The UAE may buy 4,900 precision-guided munitions worth Dh1.1 billion, the US defence department has revealed.

The purchase of the joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) would be its latest acquisition in recent years as the US and Gulf nations seek to bolster regional defences.

"The proposed sale will improve the UAE's capability to meet current and future regional threats," the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a report to Congress.

The munitions will "help the UAE Air Force and Air Defence become one of the most capable air forces in the region … serving US interests by deterring regional aggression".

The news comes less than a month after the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, released a report accusing Iran of working to develop a nuclear weapon.

JDAMs, sometimes called smart bombs or "bunker-busters", can hit targets with precision and can be used to strike bunkers and tunnels.

The US launched the Gulf Security Dialogue in 2006.

One of its purposes is to improve the defence capabilities of the GCC members, which also include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Part of that involves selling US weapons to GCC nations.

Media reports had mentioned the possibility of the JDAMs deal early last month, but the news was only officially confirmed this week.

 

chuang@thenational.ae