SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

Ef­forts to mod­ernise the mil­i­tary and im­prove de­fence will in­crease UAE’s de­fence ex­pen­di­ture from the av­er­age of $22.4 bil­lion dur­ing 2012-16 to $28.2 bil­lion dur­ing 2017-21, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Strate­gic De­fence In­tel­li­gence (SDI). Ti­tled ‘Fu­ture of the UAE De­fense In­dus­try – Mar­ket At­trac­tive­ness, Com­pet­i­tive Land­scape and Fore­casts to 2021’, the re­port states that the UAE’s cu­mu­la­tive de­fence ex­pen­di­ture dur­ing 2017-21 will grow to reach $140.8 bil­lion by the end of the fore­cast pe­riod. UAE is es­ti­mated to spend $53.1 bil­lion on de­fence pro­cure­ments on a cu­mu­la­tive ba­sis dur­ing the fore­cast pe­riod. De­fence spend­ing will be driven by UAE’s ef­forts to pro­tect cru­cial in­fra­struc­ture, its ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute with Iran, and ini­tia­tives to ex­pand the do­mes­tic de­fence in­dus­try. SDI also es­ti­mates the UAE’s de­fence ex­pen­di­ture as a pro­por­tion of its GDP to stand at 6.7 per cent, with an av­er­age per capita ex­pen­di­ture of $2,610 dur­ing the fore­cast pe­riod. The re­port adds that de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ers can seek ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties in aerial plat­forms, mis­siles, naval plat­forms and sur­veil­lance ar­eas. It also high­lights other ar­eas where the UAE is likely to in­vest, such as re­con­nais­sance, space, cy­ber se­cu­rity, bor­der con­trol, and dig­i­tal war­fare ini­tia­tives. The US is the big­gest sup­plier of equip­ment to the UAE, ac­count­ing for 65.4 per cent of the coun­try’s arms im­ports.

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