Biden's response to Trump's arms deal with UAE still not clear

One of the final acts of the Trump administration was a huge deal to sell F-35 stealth fighters and Reaper drones to the United Arab Emirates. It is still too early to say whether the Biden administration will make changes to the arms deal

Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Several hours before the inauguration of President Biden, an agreement was signed in Washington for the sale of 50 F-35 stealth fighters and 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones to the United Arab Emirates. Reuters and global Defense News reported that it was almost the final act of the Trump administration. The two countries officially signed a "letter of agreement" including the terms for the sale of the equipment to the UAE. Sources in Washington were unable to say when the supply of the planes to Abu Dhabi would begin, but estimated that it would be in 2027.    

The estimated value of the huge deal is $23.37 billion: more than $10 billion for 50 F-35 fighters, close to $3 billion for 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones, and about $10 billion for air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. However, there are expected to be changes in costs during the negotiations with the two contractors, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics.   

It is still too early to say whether the Biden Administration will make changes to the arms deal, but it should be mentioned that designated Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters that the sale is "something we would look at very, very carefully" because of the commitment to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge. In December, the Senate rejected an attempt to block the deal, when the Republicans voted in favor of it.   

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