The United Arab Emirates plans to buy at least 15 military transport aircraft from two US manufacturers to enhance its airlift capabilities, sources close to the deals said on Monday.
The contract for purchase of the aircraft from Lockheed Martin and Boeing is expected to be announced on Monday or Tuesday during the International Defence Exhibition. “Both sides have finalized the deal, it is a matter of formally announcing it,” the source told Reuters, asking not to be named due to confidentiality reasons.
The UAE is buying around 10 to 12 C130 J Super Hercules airlifters from Lockheed Martin and around four Boeing C-17 aircraft. Officials from both Lockheed Martin and Boeing confirmed talks were ongoing, but declined to give details.
The airlifters are used to lift equipment, paratroopers, stretchers for medical evacuation and other purposes with capacity to lift around 40,000 to 45,000 pounds.
Qatar has ordered four of the C 130J’s with deliveries to start in 2011, said James Grant, Vice President of Air Mobility, Lockheed Martin. The deal was valued at $393 million. “There is great interest from the UAE, Oman and Kuwait and we are in serious dialogue,” he told Reuters. “Many countries in the Middle East are looking at replacing their airlifters.” (Reuters)