Monday, November 16, 2020

Trump says UAE seeks to purchase its own fleet of F-35 fighter jets

President Trump said at a news conference on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates is seeking to buy an unknown number of F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets.

According to Trump, the UAE was interested in buying advanced F-35 Lightning II fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

“They’d like to buy F-35’s, we’ll see what happens, it’s under review,” said Trump.

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The announcement comes just days after the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship.

U.S. defense journalist and commentator Steve Trimble wrote in response to the news: “UAE first expressed interest in F-35 in 2009 at the Dubai Air Show. The USAF formally opened discussions with the UAE in 2017. The UAE then decided to upgrade their F-16s and Mirage 2000s. So they don’t need a new fighter for several years, but remain interested.”

Previously it was reported the UAE military delegation visited Israel to review operations of the advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets in 2018. A delegation from the USA was also present at the time of the UAE visit to Nevatim Air Base in Israel.

At the same time, the U.S. Air Force has deployed its most modern stealth fighters to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates in 2019.

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