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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

UAE: What Air Defenses Should it Procure?in-depth

The Emirati Ministry of Defense is weighing options to close its airspace gaps and counter Houthi loitering munition and cruise missiles. Thanks to an emergency $2 billion budget approved by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed in late January 2022, the UAE military has reviewed short-range air defense systems (SHORAD) from European, Israeli, and US companies. US CENTCOM Commander General McKenzie has also pitched some novel American counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) during his visit to the Emirates in early February.

Our 2,454-word (8 pages) special report provides recommendations on what air defense systems the UAE should procure. Based on available information, we assess that not one system can solve all of the UAE's air defense problems. Instead, the Emirates must pursue a tailored approach optimized for different threat tiers (loitering munition, cruise missiles, and small unmanned aerial systems).

Our recommendation is based on a thorough assessment of the UAE’s current air defense inventory, challenges, and unique threat landscape. 


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