Alwaght- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a new deal to purchase US-made laser-guided bombs amid rising Persian Gulf tensions.
The deal, announced Tuesday at the Dubai Airshow and worth 2.5 billion dirhams ($684.4 million), would see the American missile maker Raytheon Co. sell GBU-10 and GBU-12 Paveway laser-guided bomb kits to Abu Dhabi, among other weapons.
UAE authorities also signed arms deals with Germany’s Rheinmetall to buy artillery from the company. The contract will also enable Rheinmetall to support Etihad Airways with transportation equipment.
Abu Dhabi has also announced plans for buying 75 Mirage 2000-9 aircraft from the French multinational company Dassault and Thales to upgrade its air force fleet. That comes despite increasing calls for a halt to the UAE’s contribution to the devastating Saudi-led airstrikes on civilian areas in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two major recipients in the Persian Gulf of weapons from the United States and other Western countries.
This latest weapons acquisitions by Abu Dhabi comes amid a Persian Gulf crisis that started on June 5 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade against it, accusing Doha of funding "terrorism". Qatar has vehemently rejected the allegations as "baseless".
The purchase of weapons also comes while the UAE is involved in a deadly aggression, led by Saudi Arabia, against Yemen. More than 13,000 people have been killed and over two million have been displaced since March 2015, when the regime in Riyadh began the campaign.