Procurement: The Arab Arms Development Powerhouse


January 12, 2010: For the last five years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been developing an arms industry. With that in mind, a recent deal with South Korea should come as no surprise. South Korea got a $20 billion contract, to build four nuclear power plants in the UAE. As part of the deal, South Korea will transfer research and technology on its RQ-101 UAVs, Hyunmoo-II ballistic and Hyunmoo-III cruise missiles and EMP (electromagnetic pulse) bombs. On the last item, South Korea and the UAE will jointly continue research on this weapon.

Five years ago, when the United States would not let the UAE purchase ten Predator UAVs, the UAE decided to build their own. Using technology obtained from Schiebel, in Austria, and CybAero, in Sweden. The two UAVs created were helicopter type designs, intended for police work, and border patrol. German and South Korean firms also contributed technology. The UAE also plans to export their al Sber and APID 55 UAVs. The smaller al Sber is intended for short range police work, while the larger APID 55 is intended for border and coastal patrol. APID and al Sber prototypes have been built and tested, but the aircraft have not yet entered service. The UAE expects to find most of their sales in the civilian, not military, market.

The UAE hopes that the cooperation with South Korea will enable UAE weapons to more quickly enter service, and be available for export.



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