Reuters News Agency announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an agreement with the United States to purchase 50 F-35 Lightning II and up to 18 armed drones. Just before Joe Biden officially took over as president, Donald Trump’s government signed the agreement with the UAE. Thus, the request of the United Arab Emirates became official.
The deal was expected in December, but issues such as the timing of jet deliveries, costs, negotiation of deal-related technology packages were noted to prolong the process.
It emerged in October 2020 that the UAE, which had signed a ‘normalization’ agreement with Israel, had subsequently formally applied to the United States for the purchase of F-35 fighter jets. Reuters said a side agreement for the sale of F-35s to the UAE was promised after it agreed to normalize its relations with Israel.
Sources say the initial offer to the UAE stipulates the delivery of warplanes by 2027. The White House has also reportedly signed a separate agreement to sell 18 armed drones to the United Arab Emirates.
President Biden announced that the agreements would be examined.