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UAE Defence Ministry Says French Warplanes Not a Substitute for U.S. Jets | World News

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates defence ministry stated its buy of French Rafale fighter jets would complement its deliberate deal to purchase American F-35 warplanes, which has slowed on account of Washington’s issues over Abu Dhabi’s relationship with China.

The Gulf Arab state on Friday ordered 80 Rafales made by Dassault Aviation and 12 Caracal army helicopters made by Airbus Helicopters in an arms contract value 17 billion euros ($19.2 billion).

Major General Ibrahim Nasser Al Alawi, commander of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence, stated in a assertion on state information company WAM late on Saturday that the Rafale jets would substitute the UAE’s French-built Mirage 2000 fleet.

“This deal isn’t thought-about instead for the forthcoming F-35 deal, it’s relatively a complementary deal … as we develop our air drive capabilities,” Alawi stated, including the UAE had for a while been seeking to substitute its Mirage fleet.

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The sale of fifty F-35 warplanes made by Lockheed Martin to the UAE has slowed amid issues in Washington over Abu Dhabi’s relationship with China, together with use of Huawei 5G know-how within the nation.

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Last month, a U.S. official stated the United States intends to maneuver ahead with the sale however that there should be a clear understanding of “Emirati obligations”.

The United States below then-President Donald Trump agreed to promote the jets after the UAE final 12 months established ties with Israel. President Joe Biden’s administration has stated this 12 months it will proceed with the sale.

(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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