28 May 2012 (93 Pages)
Includes 3 FREE Quarterly Updates.
In addition, the report examines the trends occurring in the country’s current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. This quarter’s general conclusion is that the UAE will continue to invest heavily in defence procurement, spending more than all the other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with the exception of Saudi Arabia and so giving itself a capability edge over many of its neighbours in spite of the relatively modest size of its armed forces. Capabilities that can help to protect the UAE against a potential Iranian attack will be prioritised especially, with missile defence systems and new fighter aircraft among the country’s most important ongoing procurement programmes.
Internally, for all that the government has shown little intention of implementing democratic reforms, the UAE has experienced virtually none of the popular unrest that has roiled the Middle East. Instead, the most worrying factor in the UAE’s security outlook is Iran, which sits across the Strait of Hormuz and has an extremely tense relationship with Abu Dhabi.
Strong economic growth – whichBMI forecasts at 3.5% for 2012 – will continue to enable big-ticket military investments, such as the US$2bn procurement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic system announced at the end of 2011 and the upcoming acquisition of a new fighter aircraft (expected to take place sometime in 2012).
Over the last quarterBMI has revised the following forecasts/views: - BMI has updated the information relating to the UAE’s THAAD procurement. Lockheed Martin is to supply the missile defence system and interceptors, with Raytheon to deliver the associated radar systems. A Raytheon representative has revealed that the UAE – the first export customer for THAAD – is scheduled to receive its two THAAD batteries in 2014. - Discussion of the worsening of relations with Iran centring on the dispute over Abu Musa, an Iranian-occupied island in the Strait of Hormuz. A visit to the island by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has severely damaged UAE-Iran relations and led to a crisis meeting of the GCC, whose collective relationship with Iran is now worse than ever. - Updates of other procurement programmes are also included in this quarter’s report, with new information on the UAE’s infantry fighting vehicle acquisition coming to light, and new ships for the UAE Navy also being launched in early 2012.