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UAE Plans to Buy $3.5 Billion Korean Air Defense System

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced it is planning to purchase the Korean Air Defense System (M-SAM), a deal that may reach $3.5 billion.

UAE’s ministry of defense tweeted that the system will qualitatively improve the country’s air defense’s capabilities.

Negotiations at Advanced Stage

Speaking about the potential purchase, the CEO of the UAE’s defense and security acquisitions authority revealed to Gulf Today that negotiations with Korean representatives have reached “very advanced stages,” adding that a final agreement is close.

He said, “the two sides agreed to develop the system according to the operational requirements of the Air Force and Air Defence of the UAE.”

Meanwhile, the Gulf state is on a spree to buy a range of weapons from across the world. At the year’s beginning the country penned a $23 billion deal with the US which includes 50 F-35s and up to 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones. At the Dubai Air Show this week, the chief of a Russian defense conglomerate revealed that the country has shown interest in the Russian fifth-generation Checkmate aircraft.

M-SAM Block II 

The M-SAM block II is a self-propelled medium-range surface-to-air missile system. The Republic of Korea Air Force received the first of a planned seven batteries system in November last year. Each M-SAM battery consists of four-wheeled Transporter, Erector, and Launchers, a multifunction radar, and Command and Control center.

The LIG Nex1-manufactured system uses the hit-to-kill missile with a range of 40 kilometers (25 miles) and speed of 5 Mach. It can intercept aircraft and missiles at an altitude of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles).

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