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Wednesday, May 03, 2023

UAE: Search for new air defenses continuesin-depth

The UAE Air Force and Air Defense (UAE-AFAD) continue to search for new air defenses in response to the evolving threat landscape in the Gulf region. The UAE’s main challenge remains to reduce its decades-long overfocus on ballistic missile defense (BMD) and improve its low-altitude and short-range air defenses (SHORAD).

The latter comes in response to the proliferation of cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including loitering munitions, in the region. A combination of these weapons successfully struck the UAE in January 2022, revealing gaps in the UAE’s integrated air and missile defenses (IAMD).

Our 1,720-word report provides an overview of the UAE-AFAD’s plans to purchase new air defense systems, particularly SHORADs. The report features the candidate systems shortlisted in 2022 but also updates from 2023, including the status of the advanced negotiations for Spyder and Barak.

Our report is structured as follows:

-SHORAD procurement loses momentum?: low-key search in 2023; 2022 options in review

-Long and medium-range augmentation: Early-talk on L-SAM; interest in Aster 30 SAMP/T; The M-SAM deal

-Israeli air defenses: Reported deal for Spyder; Barak appears in the UAE 


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