US hopes to agree sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to UAE by December 2020


by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Reuters has learned that the US and the United Arab Emirates hope to have a letter of agreement on the sale of American of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Arab state in time for UAE National Day on December 2. A close ally of America, the UAE has long been interested in purchasing the jets and was promised it would be able to do so upon normalizing relations with Israel.

Any arms deal between the US and the UAE must ensure that Israel retains its “qualitative military edge,” which ensures that US weapons delivered to Israel are “superior in capability” to those sold to the other Middle East nations. Israel has around 24 of the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets, while Arab states so far have none.

Speaking on Israel’s Army Radio, Michael Biton, an Israeli Defence minister said it would be possible to “preserve the relative defensive advantage” of Israel’s weaponry if the US sells F-35 jets to the UAE, Reuters reported Tuesday.

According to Reuters, sources close to the negotiations have said that, in order to preserve Israel’s advantage, “a working idea was for Israeli air defenses to be able to detect the UAE F-35s with technology that effectively defeats the stealth capabilities of the jets.” UAE F-35 fighter jets could also be computer programmed to ensure they cannot outperform Israeli planes.

Once a deal is made, the UAE would have to wait a number of years for delivery. According to Reuters, Poland bought 32 of the jets in January but must wait until 2024 for initial delivery.

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