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UAE to focus on counter terrorism defence equipment

posted on 16/02/2005: 1892 views

The UAE, like many other countries worldwide, will be focusing more on counter terrorism related defence equipment in view of serious security concerns in the Middle East, Brigadier Obaid Al Kitbi, Head of the Military Committee, IDEX 2005, said yesterday. In reply to a query on the tragic assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in a bomb blast in Lebanon yesterday and the possible need for countries in the region to step up measures to counter increasing terrorist threats, Brigadier Kitbi told reporters that what happened yesterday in Lebanon was really a serious issue and one that concerns countries in the region as well as nations all around the world.

"Like other countries, the UAE is also focusing on increasing its counter terrorism related defence equipment as this is a serious issue. There is a need to act globally to counter such terrorist threats," he said.

On the contract awarded to Bell/Agusta Aerospace for the AB 139 helicopters, Brigadier Kitbi said that the timetable for the delivery of the helicopters was being drawn as aspects like machinery that the helicopters would be equipped with are to be finalised. The delivery dates could be between two to four years, he said.

With regard to the modifications on the Russian MB3 tanks, he said that modification is a continuous process and the specification panel of the armed forces is looking into this based on a prescribed plan and specific requirements. On the several deals announced by the UAE Armed Forces at the IDEX 2005 so far, Brigadier Kitbi said that the UAE had a clear plan and a budgetary allocation for its present requirements and the transactions finalised and announced this week were discussed and agreed upon earlier as part of the UAE's programme for defence procurement.

Technical studies were also being conducted for all weaponry the forces required in the future, he said. Deals between other countries may be finalised at IDEX 2005, but many customers were probably not so keen to disclose their transactions at this stage, he added. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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