Surface Forces: November 10, 1999


The UAE acquired a pair of Dutch Kortenaer-class frigates in 1997 and 1998, and has had serious problems training the crews to operate them to their full potential. Worse, the ships have all of the sensors and the eight-box launcher for the Improved Sea Sparrow, but are operating without this anti-air self-defense system because the US has refused to sell the UAE 72 of the latest RIM-7P missiles. The US offered 24 older RIM-7M missiles, which the UAE at first refused, but has now agreed to take as an interim solution. France has offered to rebuild the ships to use vertically-launched Aster-15 missiles, but the cost of this upgrade is too high for the UAE. A solution is still sought. --Stephen V Cole




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