Defense Business

US approves $23.37 billion advanced arms sale to UAE, Pompeo

The US government has approved the sale of $23.37 billion worth of advanced weapons to the UAE. This includes 50 F-35 lightning-ll fighter jets valued at $10.4 billion, 18 MQ-9B drones worth $3 billion, and a package of air-to-air and air-to-surface munition cost around $10 billion.

The State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump administration had formally notified the Congress of its move to sell the advanced weapon system to the Middle Eastern country the UAE. 

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for the advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran”.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in a statement. 

This agreement comes at times when the US-brokered an agreement in September in which the two Arab countries the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed to normalize their ties with the Israeli government. And Mike Pompeo confessed this fact in his statement. 

CPEC, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a turning point for a whole region, including South Asia & Central Asia

Mike Pompeo said, 

“The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape.”

The Secretary of the State further said, 

“The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with US partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.” 

The former Defense Secretary of US Mark Esper had met his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz several times in recent months to ensure the US commitment to maintain Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME). It is US policy to provide technological, tactical, and other advanced weapons to Israel to maintain its military superiority in the region. 

In this regard, Benny Gantz and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few weeks ago said in a joint statement, 

“Both agree, since the US is upgrading Israel’s military capability and is maintaining Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to UAE.” In an apparent reference to F-35 sale to the Gulf country.


F-35 the most expensive fighter jet program in U.S history

There is also criticism from inside the US government after Mike Pompeo’s announcement of advance arms sale to UAE. Senator Chris Murphy said the Trump administration’s deal is inappropriate and it will narrow down the options for newly elected President Joe Biden in the Middle East, who already signaled that he will return the US to Iran’s nuclear agreement. 

“This technology would significantly change the military balance in the gulf and affect Israel’s military edge. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a game-changing stealth platform boasting advanced strike capability and unique sensor technology. The export of this aircraft requires very careful consideration and Congress must analyze all the ramifications. Rushing these sales is not in anyone’s interest.”

Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


After analyzing the statements regarding the advanced arms sales by the US government to the Gulf country UAE, we concluded that it will create an imbalance in the region. Because UAE is the 1st and the only country in Arab states and in the Middle East after Israel who will receive the stealth Joint Strike Fighter F-35. And it will charge the new stealth weapons race in the region. 


  1. In reference to an article published in CNN
  2. Another article published in Aljazeera
  3. Article in Dailysabah
  4. Article published in Trtworld