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Friday, 6 September, 2002, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
US pushes Middle East arms sales
Apache attack helicopter
Kuwait signed up to a $2.1bn deal
The US has recommended that Congress approve $2.86bn in arms deals with foreign countries including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The sales come as the US escalates its military action in Iraq and threatens to start a war.

Humvee
Egypt has requested 500 Humvees
The Pentagon said the proposed sales would enhance the security of friendly states who are "an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East".

In a notice to Congress on Wednesday, which was made public on Thursday, the US Defense Security Co-operation Agency recommended the deals be approved along with sales to Taiwan, India and Malaysia.

Congress has 30 days to approve the deals but it has never rejected a Defense Department recommendation for foreign weapons sales.

VIP transport

The UAE could buy five refurbished and up-graded E-2C Hawkeye tactical warning aircraft, made by Northrop Grumman, plus radar units and parts for up to $400m.

Hawkeye command and control aircraft
Hawkeyes will boost UAE's costal defences
The Hawkeye planes are used to direct armed forces and co-ordinate communications.

Egypt wants to buy missiles, vehicles and radars worth $315m.

The deal includes more than 450 Hellfire air-to-ground anti-tank missiles for use by Apache attack helicopters, plus 500 Humvee vehicles and a dozen Sentinel air defence radars, the Pentagon said.

Another proposed sale covers two Gulfstream G-IV SP aircraft and two VIP Blackhawk helicopters for transporting Egypt's top brass, the Pentagon said.

Kuwaiti Apaches

On Tuesday, Boeing said Kuwait would buy 16 Apache Longbow AH-64 attack helicopters plus missiles, guidance systems, spare parts and maintenance worth $2.1bn as recommended by the Pentagon in April.

The Pentagon's notice to Congress also included proposals for a $1.5bn sale to Malaysia of 18 F/A-18F fighters built by Boeing, four Firefinder counter-battery artillery radar systems for India worth $100m and amphibious assault vehicles, air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground anti-tank missiles worth $250m for Taiwan.


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See also:

06 Sep 02 | Business
29 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
27 Aug 02 | Politics
19 Jul 02 | Politics
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