ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces on Monday announced 19 arms purchases worth $2.58 billion at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi.

The deals announced include the purchase of two Falcon Eye intelligence satellites, 500 armored vehicles, offshore patrol vessels and unmanned aerial systems.

The announcement made by IDEX spokesman Maj. Gen. Obeid al-Kitbi, highlighted that the Falcon Eye contract was for $1.02 billion. The contract, which was signed last summer with Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space, was for high-performance Earth-observation satellite system that provide an observation capability.

The contract also covers a ground system and training for UAE engineers, who will control the satellites once in orbit, Airbus Defence & Space told Defense News in December.

Another major contract worth $330 million was announced with Nimr Automotive, the UAE-based armored vehicle manufacturer owned by national defense company, Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), for the delivery of 500 4X4 vehicles this year.

The deal has been made for five variants of Nimr's AJBAN 4x4 vehicles.

A second agreement provides for the upgrade of 500 Nimr vehicles currently deployed by the Armed Forces of the UAE across the country.

Another EDIC company, Al Taif Technical Services, has signed a contract valued at $640 million to provide maintenance services, supply management and technical training for the UAE Land Forces.

"The combination of Al Taif's expertise in maintenance repair and overhaul, commitment to world-class research development & engineering and innovative training make Al Taif a center of excellence for Armed Forces land systems in the UAE and Gulf region," said Ahmad bin Adi, CEO of Al Taif, after the announcement.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building, also owned by EDIC, was contracted to build two multipurpose offshore patrol vessels for protection of UAE's vital installations and coasts at a cost of $236 million.

"We are proud to have signed this agreement, This project is of strategic importance in the protection of the UAE's coasts and is a testament to the confidence the UAE Armed Force holds in ADSB's shipbuilding capabilities," said Homaid al-Shemmari, chairman of EDIC.

Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments was also contracted for an undisclosed number of ISR UAVs worth $133 million.

A contract was announced with Italian firm Electronica S.P.A for technical support services, maintenance and development of electronic surveillance equipment armed forces at a value of $26 million.

Email: amustafa@defensenews.com

Awad Mustafa was a Middle East and Africa correspondent for Defense News.

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