General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (3rd L), tours the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi:

The UAE signed 17 defence contracts totalling Dh5.2 billion, Chairman of the organising committee for the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2013) Major General Obaid Al Ketbi annuounced on Monday afternoon.

Al Ketbi said that Idex 2013 saw the UAE Armed Forces sealing defence contracts worth Dh1.4 billion with Oshkosh Corporation according to which the American company will provide 750 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs).

John Urias, former major general of US Army and executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh Defense, told the Gulf News that his company is scheduled to deliver M-ATVs to the UAE between January and August 2013,

“The UAE continues to expand its role, in partnership with its allies including the United States, in regional security and peace-keeping operations,” said Urias.

He added: “The UAE is central to our international growth strategy, and we are honoured that they have selected the Oshkosh M-ATV to support their missions”.

“The M-ATV provides the industry’s highest levels of protection and performance,” said Urias reiterated.

He said that the vehicle is highly effective and suitable for all topographies.

“No vehicle has been more effective in supporting ground operations from urban security patrols to combat in harsh desert and mountainous terrain. As we produce and deliver this exceptional vehicle to the UAE Armed Forces, we are equally committed to providing long-term service and to supporting those who rely on our M-ATVs to achieve their missions,” added Urias.

He added that Oshkosh is in talks with other countries in the region which showed their intention to purchase this kind of vehicles.

“We are in talks with other countries in the Middle East,” he said, declining to name the countries or potential deals with them.

Al Ketbi said that the UAE Armed Forces also signed a Dh722 million contract with International Golden Group, a UAE company, to purchase unmanned aircraft of the so-called Predator drones with all integrated logistic support.

He added that the UAE also signed a Dh472.7 million contract with Russia’s KBP to buy ammunition. A Dh720 million contract was also signed with Tawazun to purchase laser guided missile, CIRIT.

The fifth contract signed was with Booz and Company for consultation and logistics worth Dh215 million. The sixth was for information and IT support with International Golden Group, SAP and IBM for a deal worth Dh350 million.

The seventh deal worth Dh375.4 million was with Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company to install RAM missiles on vessels.

The eighth was a consultancy deal with Knowledge Point, a local company to extend strategic support for land forces and the amount was Dh345 million. The ninth was a Dh56 million deal with Hanwha Corporation, a Korean company, to provide the UAE Armed Forces with ammunition and explosives. The tenth was a deal worth Dh 30 million with Naval Advanced Solutions, a local company, to provide technical support for vessels. The eleventh deal was for Dh67 million with Saqr Al Khaleej Company, an Emirati company, to provide the UAE armed forces with snipers. The twelfth was Dh140 million with Italian Fincantieri, an Italian company to provide technical suppor for UAE naval vessels. The thirteenth was a deal worth Dh12.8 million with Al Mawqe Company, a local company, to provide communication for the UAE Armed Forces.

The fourteenth was a Dh11.7 million deal with Al Jisr Company, a local company, to provide the UAE Armed Forces with chemical equipment. The fifteenth deal was for Dh46.3 million with CEFA, a French company, to provide spare parts. The sixteenth was a Dh27.2 million contract with Atlas Corporation for Telecommunications to provide telecommunication technologies. The seventeenth deal worth Dh157 million was with Ammrokc, a local company, to provide electronic devices for C130 aircraft.


Negotiations on for fighter deal

In a reply to a question on UAE purchase of Rafale or Typhoon fighters, Al Ketbi said that two teams are in negotiations with both companies.

“There are two teams and they are in negotiations. The UAE Armed Forces will announce these deals in due time, once reached,” said Al Ketbi.

According to military experts, the UAE has almost turned down the deal with France after it lost its deal with India. “The Indians will be purchasing the British Typhoon fighter,” they said.

Theodore Karasik, head of research and consultancy at the Institute for the Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), told the Gulf News that the British prime minister is in Indian now for this deal.

“The British PM is in Indian for this fighter deal and he might be coming to the UAE to seal the deal with the UAE government to purchase Typhoon fighters,” said Karasik.