UAE agrees to $1.6 billion deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade F-16 fighters

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The United Arab Emirates will pay Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) 6 billion dirhams ($1.63 billion) to upgrade 80 F-16 jet fighters, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Sunday. The UAE is also interested in fifth-generation fighter jets with a preference for Lockheed Martin’s F-35, which is the only Western-made jet that fully meets those requirements.

Fifth generation is a definition that varies according to each manufacturer but broadly includes advanced stealth capability and a high level of computerized connectivity between fighter jets. The wealthy Gulf state has also been analyzing the European Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Dassault Rafale fighter jets for years, though deals for the fourth generation jets have never been secured.

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The ministry also announced other deals, including 66 million dirhams to U.S.-based OTNA INC for Blu-109 ammunition and a 35 million dirham agreement with Thales Communications and Security SAS (TCFP.PA) to secure defense communications.

Source Credit: Reuters
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