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US says F-35 and MQ-9 sale to UAE still ‘on the table’

22nd June 2022 - 15:00 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast

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The UAE's interest in acquiring F-35s remains despite the recent Rafale buy, but technology transfer issues are still a concern. (Photo: USAF)

Almost two years in the making, a deal between the United Arab Emirates and the US for F-35 fighters and MQ-9 UAS could still happen.

The UAE's $23 billion buy of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9 MALE UAVs and other munitions could yet go ahead, despite suffering setbacks since initially being approved by the US State Department in November 2020.

The overall package includes up to 50 F-35A fifth generation fighters, a maximum of 18 MQ-9B Reaper aircraft and additional weapons like Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block II+ missile but has reportedly suffered from disagreements over access to onboard technologies and US security concerns over the UAE favouring Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei for its 5G networks.

‘The proposed sale of

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