UAE signs $1.2bn deals as arms fair opens

The four-day International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) kicked off Sunday in Abu Dhabi with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announcing 21 deals worth more than $1.2 billion (SR4.4 billion).

IDEX spokesman Brig. Gen. Rashid Mohammed Al-Shamsi told reporters the Emirates struck deals with 15 local companies and six international firms to bolster its land and naval forces.
The UAE is a key partner in the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after Houthi rebels stormed Sanaa and advanced on second city Aden.
International contracts announced on Sunday included one with French firm Thales Underwater Systems SAS to buy sonars for the navy worth more than $23 million and another with Britain’s HESCO Group for defensive fortifications worth more than $24 million.
A statement also listed deals with Emirati companies, including one with International Golden Group for ammunition worth around $107 million.
The UAE also signed contracts with local firms to supply and install electronic communications systems for the navy, armor mechanisms and monitoring equipment.
IDEX, which runs to Thursday, is one of the largest arms fairs in the Middle East and is held biannually to showcase the latest in defense technologies and innovations.