The UAE is one of the largest trading partners and export markets in the world for the U.S. defense and security sector. Over the last several years, the country has made major investments in its air, land and sea and critical infrastructure defense capabilities, including significant purchases of F-16 aircraft, PATRIOT and Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (“THAAD”) systems. The UAE has announced its intention to purchase C-17 and C-130 transport aircraft, creating the third largest fleet of long-range strategic transport aircraft in the world after the U.S. and Britain.
Opportunities for U.S. companies include sales and related training and support services for defense equipment and weapons systems in the air and naval defense, critical infrastructure security, border security and systems integration, training, and MRO facilities. In addition to Ministry of Defense procurement programs, the Abu Dhabi Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA) has several tenders open for bid in connection with its mission of securing the country’s vital infrastructure and assets, such as onshore and offshore petroleum facilities.