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Abu Dhabi (AFP) Feb 18, 2013
The United Arab Emirates said on Monday it signed 17 defence contracts to purchase military equipment worth $1.4 billion including US manufactured Predator drones.
The contracts were signed during the ongoing International Defence Exhibition & Conference, IDEX.
"The total value of today's contracts has reached 5.2 billion dirhams" ($1.42 billion), said Staff Major General Obaid al-Ketbi, chairman of IDEX, which is held every two years in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to reporters on the second day of Middle East's biggest defence show, Ketabi said the deals include a 722 million-dirham ($196-million) contract agreed with US firm General Atomics for the purchase of Predator drones with complete integrated logistic support systems.
He said the UAE armed forces also signed an agreement with the US-based Oshkosh firm worth 1.4 billion dirhams ($381.5 million) to purchase all-terrain military vehicles.
Another deal to purchase Turkish CIRIT laser-guided rockets worth 720 million dirhams ($196.2 million) was also signed, he added.
Oil-rich UAE invests heavily in defence, just like most other Gulf states that are mainly wary of potential hostilities from neighbouring Iran.
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