November 15, 2011

UAE Received Information on F/A-18, F-15



DUBAI - Boeing provided information earlier this year on its F/A-18 and F-15 combat aircraft to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of the gulf state's "open fighter competition," said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
The data on the two fighter jets was supplied at the same time that Boeing supported government-to-government talks under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales regime, Muilenburg said.
"We're honored to have two great fighters to compete," Muilenburg told journalists at the Dubai Airshow here. "We've got hot production lines for both aircraft."
Boeing could provide cost and delivery certainty, and also ensure post-delivery logistical support for both aircraft, he said.
The Eurofighter consortium, meanwhile, confirmed in a statement that the U.K. responded to a UAE request for a briefing on the Typhoon fighter.
"The briefing took place on 17th October 2011," the statement said.
The U.K. then received a request for proposals for the supply of the Typhoon for the UAE Air Force.
"We are working hard to deliver a response," Eurofighter said.

The request for a Eurofighter bid came as a blow to the French government and industry, which have been hoping for a UAE contract for Dassault's Rafale fighter before the end of the year.
Lockheed Martin also has responded to the UAE's request for information on its F-16, which the U.S. company sees as a bridge to selling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the gulf state.
Boeing hopes that moves aimed at boosting local UAE industry will help its fighter bid.
Boeing and Mubadala Aerospace, a unit of the Mubadala state-owned holding company, announced Nov. 14 they had agreed to two deals under a 2009 framework agreement to develop the UAE's civil and military aerospace industry.
Under the first deal, Boeing will establish local company Strata Manufacturing as a composite aerostructures supplier. Strata will be able to qualify as a tier 1 supplier to Boeing if it meets performance and competitiveness targets set in a so-called "strategic roadmap."
Secondly, the Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center, a Mubadala Aerospace company, will work under a strategic agreement with Boeing Defense, Space & Security to provide support for military aircraft in the UAE, including Boeing-built Apache and Chinook helicopters and C-17 airlifters.
Boeing sees interest in the F/A-18 and F-15 in the gulf region, including Kuwait and Qatar.
A sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia is under government-to-government discussion, after having sparked protest from Israel.

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