Lockheed Martin to retrofit F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for SEAD/DEAD mission

NAVAIR disclosed that UAE finalized agreement with the US to buy F-35A in March

By Dario Leone
Apr 27 2021
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UAE signed an agreement with the US to buy 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones on Jan. 20, 2021.

The Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259) International Programs team has reached a first-time Foreign Military Sales (FMS) portfolio value of $3 Billion for 34 countries and two NATO member countries.

According to a NAVAIR news release, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an existing international partner, finalized an agreement with the US this March to procure the F-35 Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and requested additional AIM-9X Block II+ missiles for external carriage on the JSF.

As already reported, the UAE signed an agreement with the US to buy 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones on Jan. 20, 2021.

Last August Washington agreed to consider a possible sale of F-35s to the UAE after the so called the Abraham Accord, a US-brokered agreement aimed to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel.

UAE had the chance to accept the negotiated schedule and configuration of the jets while also making the purchase request official thanks to the agreement.

At the time of the agreement, the final in-country delivery date for the F-35 jets could not immediately be confirmed, but the initial proposal sent to UAE said 2027.

The International Programs team’s mission is to foster continuous, long-term international relationships between the U.S. and international partner countries. Their primary international security cooperation focus is on the advanced fifth-generation Infra-red AIM-9X weapon system, the AIM-9X Block I and Block II/II+ Sidewinder missile. Almost 3,000 AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles have been procured on behalf of 25 countries globally. The FMS team leading the effort has accounted for an average of 267 FMS missiles procured each year since 2012.

“Our team continues to support the advancement of U.S. strategic objectives by establishing and growing key allied partnerships via NAVAIR’s Security Cooperation Program,” said Al Teeney, PMA-259’s deputy program manager for International Programs.

The International Programs team supports all 36 international partners and organizations for all of their inventory requirements and needs. The FMS team is promoting NAVAIR’s Building Partner Capacity goals regarding the AIM-9X missile until its program of record ends in 2035. Until then, the International Programs team plans to hit another monetary milestone and continue expanding its international partnerships at an ever-growing rate.

The PMA-259 International Programs team manages 109 FMS cases and is composed of 25 US civilians as well as 16 contract support specialist personnel.

F-35A print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35A Lightning II 56th OG, 61st FS, LF/12-5050 / 2014

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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