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IDEX: UAE To Buy Predator Version UAV

Feb. 18, 2013 - 11:20AM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
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ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates has awarded a 722 million dirham ($197 million) contract to a local company to buy an export version of the General Atomics Predator UAV, a spokesman for the International Defense Exhibition & Conference said Monday.

The International Golden Group will acquire the Predator XP for the UAE armed forces, Maj. Gen. Obaid Al Ketbi told a press conference at the IDEX trade show. No details were available on the number of units.

The Predator XP version is designed solely for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and cannot be fitted with weapons. The U.S. authorities have cleared the XP for export.

The UAV deal was among arms orders totaling 5.2 billion dirhams announced at the IDEX show, which opened Sunday. Among the orders was a UAE contract for 750 U.S.-built mine resistant ambush protected all-terrain vehicles (M-ATV), announced July 19 by maker Oshkosh, worth 1.4 billion dirhams. Oshkosh had not announced the value of the contract.

The order for the 750 M-ATV units was a direct commercial sale, a follow-on from a previous purchase of 50 vehicles under a government-to government deal under the U.S. Foreign Military Sale regime, an Oshkosh spokeswoman said.

The 750-unit contract allows for further purchases by the UAE, Serge Buchakjian, Oshkosh senior vice president, said Sunday.

Oshkosh is looking to expand sales in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Buchakjian said.

The U.S. company displayed at IDEX, for the first time abroad, its light combat tactical all-terrain vehicle. The Oshkosh unit is one of three vehicles competing in the U.S. tender for a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

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