Procurement: Buying Quality in the Persian Gulf


January 12, 2008: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is buying $326 million worth of air-to-air missiles and smart bombs from the United States. Included are 224 radar guided AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, 200 GPS guided bombs and over 1,100 laser guided bombs. The UAE air force has 79 F-16s and 60 Mirage 2000 fighters. Both can use smart bombs. The UAE has a population of 4.6 million, lots of oil, and a number of long term territorial disputes with Iran (which has a population of 70 million and an ancient reputation for picking on its Arab neighbors). The UAE armed forces have 65,000 troops. Nearly all the officers are UAE citizens, but many of the troops are from other Arab countries and Pakistan. There are about 700,000 UAE males of military age. The UAE is spending billions a year to upgrade its armed forces, to give it a higher qualitative edge.


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