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Home>>Photo >> World
08:57, February 23, 2009

UAE to upgrade armed forces with advanced equipment

Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2009 shows the exhibits at China's booth during the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) 2009, in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates(UAE). The IDEX 2009, Middle East's biggest arms fair, opened here Sunday with a total of 897 exhibitors from 50 countries showcasing their latest products for deep-pocketed Gulf countries. (Xinhua/Ma Wenbo)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) intended to modernize its armed forces with the world's most sophisticated equipment, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan said Sunday as his nation is holding the biggest Middle East defense show.

"The military strategy of the UAE and its plans for building an integrated, strong defense system are based on determination to protect its higher interests, defend the nation," the president was quoted by WAM news agency as saying.

An audience tries an exhibit at Poland's booth during the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) 2009, in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates(UAE), on Feb. 22, 2009. (Xinhua/Ma Wenbo)

"We will forge ahead with our drive to back our strategic plans and modernization of our armed forces... with the most sophisticated equipment and weaponry ever produced by the world's defense industry," Sheikh Khalifa added.

He said that to modernize the military is in response to regional threats, and the UAE will lay particular emphasis on developing anti-missile defense technologies.

In December, the UAE signed deals totaling nearly 4 billion U.S. dollars with two major U.S. defense firms, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, including providing an advanced version of the advanced Patriot anti-missile system, according to UAE daily The National.

Lots of audience visit the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) 2009, in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates(UAE), on Feb. 22, 2009. (Xinhua/Ma Wenbo)

Defense experts said anti-missile systems are vital for the UAE and other Gulf states because a number of countries in the Middle East have large stocks of ballistic missiles.

The International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) 2009, the eighth edition of the largest arms fair in the Middle East, opened here on Sunday. The exhibition, supported by the UAE government, attracted 897 companies in the defense industry from 50 countries to showcase their latest products.

The UAE armed forces have signed nearly 900-million-dollar deals during IDEX 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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