UAE signs agreement to purchase F-35 jets, armed drones from U.S.

F-35 Lightning II pilot U.S. Air Force Captain Kristin “BEO” Wolfe performs the “dedication pass” maneuver at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale Air Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.

The United Arab Emirates has signed an agreement with the United States to purchase 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones, people familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

Although the UAE and the United States were working to ink a deal before President Joseph Biden took office on Wednesday, the new president has said he will re-examine the agreements.

The UAE, one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, has long expressed interest in acquiring the stealthy F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal when it agreed to normalize relations with Israel last August.

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