The UAE has achieved a milestone in its efforts for self-reliance in defence capabilities and production of military aircraft as the first "Made in UAE" light attack aircraft is ready to take to the skies, officials said on Wednesday.
The UAE's Ministry of Defence announced the purchase of 24 B-250 aircraft worth Dh2.27 billion, which has been developed by Abu Dhabi-based company Calidus.
The deal will support the growth of the local defense and manufacturing industry, as well as improve the UAE's profile in defense production capabilities.
Maj-Gen Pilot Abdullah Al Sayyed Al Hashemi, assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of Defence for support services, said the deal involves spare parts and support for the aircraft.
"To bring on board an aircraft that is built in the UAE is very significant not just for the Ministry of Defence but for the whole of the UAE because it improves the defense industry business in the country. It shows that we are improving and going in the right direction as part of the strategic plan of the UAE," Al Hashemi added.
"The UAE was looking for aircraft dedicated to multi-role tasks and this is equipped with a variety of capabilities. Most of the weapons and ammunition to be used for the B-250 aircraft will also be made in the UAE," he added.
In addition, the ministry announced another Dh3.2 billion of purchases on the third day of the airshow, taking the total purchases in the first three days to Dh17.8 billion. French company MBDA won the biggest contract of the day worth Dh1.28 billion to supply ammunition and maintenance of Mirage aircraft. The ministry signed a deal with US giant Lockheed Martin also to supply F-16 simulators for a value of Dh533.3 million.
MAG Ds Corp inked a deal worth Dh220.3 million for sale and modification of Cessna 208s. Another mega-deal of Dh220.38 million was signed with Hanwha Corporation of Korea for ammunition. Global Aerospace Logistics, a subsidiary of Edge, won a Dh214.3 million deal to upgrade the electronics system for the general headquarters. The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council clinched a Dh20 million deal for providing calibration, consultancy, and training service. A Dh33 million contract to provide technical experts for control systems went to Northrop Grumman International Trading.
The ministry announced a Dh129.7 million deal with Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investment for a UAV system and providing technical support.
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