UAE to buy US-made drones in military expansion

UAE to buy US-made drones in military expansion

Credit: Getty Images

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, NV - AUGUST 08: An MQ-9 Reaper flies by August 8, 2007 at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. The Reaper is the Air Force's first "hunter-killer" unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed to engage time-sensitive targets on the battlefield as well as provide intelligence and surveillance. The jet-fighter sized Reapers are 36 feet long with 66-foot wingspans and can fly for up to 14 hours fully loaded with laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. They can fly twice as fast and high as the smaller MQ-1 Predators, reaching speeds of 300 mph at an altitude of up to 50,000 feet. The aircraft are flown by a pilot and a sensor operator from ground control stations. The Reapers are expected to be used in combat operations by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq within the next year. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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KMOV.com

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 18 at 12:45 PM

 ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A defense official in the United Arab Emirates says the Gulf nation has signed $1.4 billion in military contracts that include purchases of U.S.-made drones.

   The drone deal, worth nearly $200 million, suggests Gulf Arab states are looking to boost surveillance capabilities to match claims by rival Iran of growing drone technology. The UAE says the Predator drones, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, will not be outfitted for weapons capabilities, but used for reconnaissance.

   Iran has claimed it has developed its own sophisticated drones and managed to reverse-engineer a CIA drone seized in December 2011 after it entered Iranian airspace.

   UAE military spokesman Maj. Gen. Obaid al-Ketbi also said the deals include 750 U.S.-made mine-resistant vehicles.

   The contracts were announced Monday at a defense show in Abu Dhabi.
 

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