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The Dubai Air Show will Center on Drones and the F-35 Fighter Plane Contract

Military agreements at this year’s Dubai Air Show are expected to include cutting-edge geopolitics and technologies.Upgrades to fighter jet fleets and new counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology are set to be significant themes at the industry expo, especially given the recent increase in Drones assaults across the area.

Many eyes will be on whether previous Trump administration agreements to sell particular US military equipment to the UAE will be completed — transactions that have been on hold since the Biden administration took office.The desired Lockheed Martin General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Drones and the F-35 II joint strike fighter jet are in doubt, and if finalized, would be the first sales of the armed and F-35 to any Arab government.

“The UAE has had great fighter aircraft demand for quite some time, headed towards an F-35 acquisition but, you know, unfortunately, beset with challenges,” Teal Group vice president of research Richard Aboulafia told to media.The agreement, signed on Donald Trump’s final day in office on January 20, was for a colossal $23 billion sale to the UAE, with the majority of the money going toward 50 F-35 fighter jets and at least 18 armed Drones.

Previously, US export restrictions prohibited the sale of armed Drones to any of Washington’s Arab allies. Furthermore, a sale of the F-35 to the Gulf desert sheikhdom was first ruled out because to a legally mandated necessity that the US reserve its most modern weapons deliveries for Israel in order to preserve Israel’s “qualitative military barrier” in the MEA.

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