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U.S. to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets to UAE after accord with Israel

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The United States has agreed to sell more than $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) of top-of-the-line F-35 fighter jets to the UAE to reward its recognition of Israel, potentially reshaping power dynamics in the turbulent region.

In an informal notification to Congress, President Donald Trump’s administration said it had approved the sale of 50 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters — equivalent to Israel’s fleet of the jets — worth an estimated $10.4 billion (Dh38.2 billion), a congressional aide said.

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UAE reportedly sought the advanced warplanes as it was speaking to the United States ahead of its landmark recognition of Israel last month.

The F-35 is considered one of the world’s most advanced — and most expensive — warplanes.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 has stealth capability as well as high-end sensors and data-collection tools, meaning the plane can be deployed for airstrikes, air-to-air combat or intelligence gathering.

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A State Department official declined to confirm the UAE sale, saying that it does not comment on notifications to Congress.

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