Global News

UAE weapons maker EDGE wants in on F-35 supply chain

By ET News

United Arab Emirates’ state-owned weapons maker EDGE expects to be involved in the supply chain of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 war plane if the sale of U.S. planes to the Gulf Arab state goes ahead, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is re-examining the sale of 50 F-35 stealth jets, 18 armed drones and other military equipment approved by former President Donald Trump during his last days in office.

“Any platform that is coming to the country, we are now getting heavily involved in this supply chain in whatever component that makes sense for the client and for us,” EDGE CEO Faisal al-Bannai said at Abu Dhabi’s Idex defence exhibition.

EDGE, a $5 billion state defence conglomerate, could integrate subsystems, products and weapons, perform maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work and also develop weapons such as missiles for the jet, he said.

EDGE and Lockheed later announced in a statement they had reached a preliminary agreement to jointly “explore industrial participation opportunities across the UAE’s aerospace and defence industry.”

The statement did not mention the F-35 or any other system.

The Gulf state, one of Washington’s closest Middle Eastern allies, was promised a chance to buy the war planes when it established formal ties with Israel last year.

EDGE was in “advanced discussion” with several Israeli defence companies about jointly funding and developing missiles and unmanned platforms, Bannai said without identifying the firms.

“Quite soon there will be announcements,” he said.

It is not clear when Washington will complete its review, though even if approved the first F-35 is not expected to be delivered for several years.

“Every country has their own process. I think they will go through their process and come to what is a right decision for them,” Bannai said of the U.S. review.

The UAE’s Ambassador to Washington Yousef al-Otaiba has said he is confident the sale would go through.

The jets are a major component of a $23 billion sale of high-tech armaments from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp to the UAE.

Facebook Comments

Source
ET News
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
Close