Abu Dhabi: US-based integrated defence systems provider Raytheon plans to deliver the first set of components of the Patriot air and missile defence system to the UAE this year, Guy Shields, a senior manager at Raytheon, told Gulf News here yesterday.

In December 2008, the UAE and the US governments signed an agreement under which the UAE will get delivery of the Patriot air and missile defence system in a $3.3 billion (Dh12 billion) deal.

"The payments are staggered in this particular deal," said Shields.

Patriot delivers a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather system to defeat advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Senior Raytheon executives are currently in Abu Dhabi to display and take orders to sell their equipment at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex-2011).

As well, Jim Bedingfield, Director of the Missile Defence and Space Program at Raytheon, said they are close to signing a contract with the UAE for the delivery of Theatre High Altitude Air Defence (THAAD). If signed, this will be a multi-billion dollar deal and its technology is much more advanced than the Patriot's.

Integrated system

"We do the radar and partner with Lockheed Martin to provide an integrated system against longer-range threats than tactical ballistic missiles," he said.

"We are working with the US and Emirati governments and their defence departments arrive at a contract this year," said Bedingfield.

Kevin W. Massengill, Raytheon Vice President and the regional executive for the Middle East and North Africa, said the US government had awarded Raytheon a $42.8 million contract.

The contract will run over a two-year period to provide rotary wing and fixed wing training to Afghanistan's pilots.