Major General Obaid Al Katbi addresses a press conference on Monday. The head of the organising committee announced the UAE Armed Forces’ investment plans. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Armed Forces have invested Dh4 billion in equipment to help meet the country's defence needs.

For the first time since the five-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) kicked off this year, the UAE Armed Forces came forward with information regarding recent military contracts to help safeguard the country from future defence and attack that Major General Obaid Al Katbi, head of the Idex 2011 organising committee and spokesman for Idex, announced at a press briefing yesterday.

"These deals depend on the needs of the UAE Armed Forces to update its weapons and aircraft, and on the UAE government's requirements as per strategy plan.

"The UAE has an excellent relationship with various military organisations across the world, and look into cooperating with those who fill its current and futuristic military requirements," said Al Katbi.

Deals finalised

When Gulf News asked when these deals were fin-alised, he said, "Some were concluded in the last two days, some before Idex, and I'm sure in the next few days we will be finalising a few more, there might just be an increase in the today's consolidated figure of Dh4 billion."

A deal for Dh993.5 million was the biggest purchase by the armed forces, which will be used to install 23 Blackhawk aircraft, the UH60M, with weapons.

The second largest investment went into a contract signed with Emirates Response Service and ASSETCO in their bid to provide the armed forces with firefighting services, human resources, equipment and maintenance worth Dh853.6 million.

About Dh551 million was spent on providing the UAE with air cargo services through Maximus National Company.

The armed forces have also purchased four AW 139 aircraft for VIPs worth Dh336.7 million through the Abu Dhabi Aviation National Company.

Asked about the status of the $7 billion contract for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence under a previous agreement between the US and UAE governments, Al Katbi said: "Our negotiation team is still working on the project, which hasn't been finalised yet from the US side.

"Hopefully in the near future we will reach our final agreement on the terms and conditions related to the deal, however it's not yet finalised."

Budget: Additional deals

  • Dh252 million signed with Booz and Company to transfer logistics
  • Dh230.9 million signed with IGG to purchase 30 MK 47 calibers, 40 mm
  • Dh136.7 million to be spent on ammunition for 80mm vehicles, as well as the installation of gas bombs, 80mm calibers on BMP-3 vehicles
  • Dh126.8 million spent on maintenance of tanks and armours.
  • Dh103 million contract with UAE Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to include aviation programmes and maritime sciences in bachelor degree's, in efforts to develop human resources.
  • Dh84 millionon German ammunitions through Diehl BGT Defence
  • Dh64.8 million to train pilots, technicians, navigators on black hawks
  • Dh63.2 million to provide plans known as P180 Avanti II with technical support from Italian company Piaggo Aero Industrie
  • Dh53.2 million to provide arms for ehicles through IGG
  • Dh45.5 millionequipment installed on radars through Raneen Wireless Development
  • Dh39.3 million to buy ammunition through Hanawa Cooperation

What do you think of the defense budget? Do you think enough money is being allocated towards the economy?