US State Dept. approves UAE’s buy of F-35 jets, MQ-9 drones

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on Tuesday cleared a large package deal of F-35 fighter jets and MQ-9 unmanned programs for the United Arab Emirates, making official a possible sale nonetheless opposed by many congressional Democrats.

In an announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced that the package deal, which comes with an estimated price ticket of $23.37 billion, consists of as much as 50 F-35s value $10.four billion, 18 MQ-9Bs value $2.97 billion, and $10 billion value of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran,” Pompeo stated. “The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape. Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success.”

“The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with U.S. partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” he added, referencing a U.S. authorized commonplace that Israel preserve a navy technological benefit over its neighbors.

The sale was anticipated ever because the signing of peace agreements between Israel and the UAE. The administration beforehand informally notified Congress of the sale’s particulars, with main international coverage Democrats signaling they’d act to dam it.

Potential international navy gross sales notified to Congress usually are not assured to maneuver ahead, and the portions and greenback figures can typically change throughout closing negotiations. But even getting this far is a giant win for the UAE, which has lengthy sought the stealthy F-35; it additionally represents a win for the Trump administration, which has made growing U.S. weapon exports a key a part of its financial platform.

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