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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Gulf States: Fears about a nuclear Iran cause a weapons' surge
The prospect of Iran marrying its arsenal of long-range ballistic missiles with unconventional warheads – perhaps, in time, nuclear warheads – is the possible threat they most fear.

Hence the United Arab Emirates wants to buy the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, designed to guard against a missile attack. The country is also investing in weaponry produced by European companies: the UAE is due to buy up to 80 Rafale jet fighters, built by Dassault of France.

As well as dealing with any threat from Iran, the Gulf states are also trying to broaden their military capabilities. Saudi Arabia wants equipment designed for counter-insurgency, following its experience this year in trying to combat Houthi Shia rebels based in neighbouring Yemen.

...“The clear winner from the recent arms sales agreements is Boeing, which has been struggling to keep a toehold in the fighter market as the new generation of fighters are being built by Lockheed Martin,” he said. Raytheon also stands to gain from the investment in advanced missile defence technology, added Mr Sharp.

US and European defence companies have recognised the Middle East as a crucial source of future sales, especially as the UK plans to cut its defence budget by at least 10 per cent over the next five years and the US seeks to save $100bn in the same period.
Let's hope they don't use it on Western countries afterwards...

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