DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— UAE aerospace company Calidus scored its first contract for the B-250 light attack aircraft on Nov. 20, when the United Arab Emirates placed an order for 24 planes at the Dubai Airshow.
The contract, worth AED 2.273 billion or about $620 million, represents the first time the UAE military has purchased a domestically-produced aircraft. The first B-250 plane was unveiled at Dubai Airshow 2017 and has since been shown at IDEX this past February and the 2018 Bahrain International Airshow.
The B-250 is a turboprop plane built for close air support, counter-terrorism activities, training and the collection of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
It was designed by Brazilian firm Novaer and has an operating cost of about $1,200 per flight hour, according to Calidus. It has an endurance of up to 10 hours and a maximum cruising speed of 350 knots.
Military aircraft orders have been light during Dubai Airshow 2019. Aside from Wednesday’s B-250 contract, the UAE announced on Tuesday its intention to buy two more GlobalEye airborne early warning and control planes from Saab, but final negotiations are still ongoing.
Valerie Insinna was Defense News' air warfare reporter. Beforehand, she worked the Navy and congressional beats for Defense Daily, which followed almost three years as a staff writer for National Defense Magazine. Prior to that, she worked as an editorial assistant for the Tokyo Shimbun’s Washington bureau.