Emirates threatens to break F-35 deal
(Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has threatened to abandon a $ 23 billion deal to buy 50 next-generation F-35 stealth fighters, 18 Reaper drones and other US weapons, The Wall wrote in the Street Journal on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying that the Gulf state, which had ordered 80 Rafale aircraft from the French Dassault company, considered US security needs to be high.
F-35 builder Lockheed Martin, the US State Department and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests.
Emirates, one of Washington’s key allies in the Gulf, has long expressed interest in purchasing F – 35s, and received the green light from the Trump administration in August 2020 in response to the normalization of relations with Israel.
An official from the United Arab Emirates’ Defense Ministry told Reuters that the Raphael purchase was in addition to the F-35 and was not a substitute for a US aircraft.
(Maria Ponnerhat in Bangalore, French edition edited by Donkey Salan, Sophie Louie)