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UAE Air Force may invest in Mako

posted on 07/11/2001: 1812 views

The UAE Air Force and Air Defence is likely to make a financial commitment for the multi-billion Mako programme with the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co (EADS), a senior UAE defence official confirmed. "We will be investing in the programme. We are in talks with the national banks and UAE Offsets Group to support the programme," Brigadier General Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Bu Ainnain of UAE Air Force and Air Defence.

A MoU was signed by UAE with EADS to contribute to the design and testing of various components and systems in the Mako aircraft. EADS officials had been urging the UAE to invest in the Mako programme apart from supporting the programme through other ways. As the advanced trainer and light combat aircraft programme enters its third stage, three UAE organisations are joining forces with the Mako team.

Significantly, most of the other GCC countries have evinced "strong interest" in the Mako programme. "We have met their delegations," he said, declining to name any country. The Mako programme was launched at Dubai Air Show in 1999, and a second MoU signed at IDEX 2001. Individual MoUs between EADS and UAE Air Force were signed at the Le Bourget Air Show in June this year with companies such as Bae Systems, BGTDiehl, Fairey Hydraulics, APPH Precision Hydraulics, and Snecma Group. (The Gulf News)


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