The UAE has achieved a milestone in its efforts for self-reliance in defence capabilities and production of military aircraft as the first “Made in UAE” light attack aircraft is ready to take to the skies, officials said on Wednesday.
The UAE’s Ministry of Defence announced the purchase of 24 B-250 aircraft worth Dh2.27 billion ($620 million—Ed.), which has been developed by Abu Dhabi-based company Calidus.
The deal will support the growth of the local defence and manufacturing industry, as well as improve the UAE’s profile in defence production capabilities.
Maj-Gen Pilot Abdullah Al Sayyed Al Hashemi, assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of Defence for support services, said the deal involves spare parts and support for the aircraft.
“To bring onboard an aircraft that is built in the UAE is very significant not just for the Ministry of Defence but for the whole of the UAE because it improves the defence industry business in the country. It shows that we are improving and going in the right direction as part of the strategic plan of the UAE,” Al Hashemi added.
“The UAE was looking for aircraft dedicated for multi-role tasks and this is equipped with a variety of capabilities. Most of the weapons and ammunition to be used for the B-250 aircraft will also be made in the UAE,” he added.