Dubai/Moscow: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement to purchase 500 helicopters for its police force. Along with this purchase transaction, the Russian company will be setting up its manufacturing project in the UAE. Confidence is being expressed that the defence cooperation between the two countries will gain momentum with this. Three weeks ago, the United States suspended its defence cooperation with the UAE. UAE-Russia cooperation is being viewed against this background.
UAE-based Tawazun and Russian VR-Technologies (VRT) signed the agreement for the purchase of 500 helicopters. Under this agreement, worth USD 440 million, the Russian company will be procuring 500 VRT-500 helicopters for the UAE police. Reports are also being received that UAE is contemplating to purchase, even the VRT-300 drone helicopters. Along with the helicopters, the UAE company has purchased a 50% stake in the Russian company.
Therefore, the Russian company will be building a new project in the UAE. In this project, helicopters and drones will be manufactured. Important decisions regarding this will be taken in May. The helicopter manufacturing will start soon. Other than these helicopters, UAE and Russia are holding talks for joint development of a supersonic aircraft. By the year-end, design for two types will be presented to the world. Two variants, one with three passengers and the other with eight passengers, will be developed. Manufacture of these passenger aircraft with speeds up to 1.5 to 1.8 Mach will be started within a year.
Russia and UAE share diplomatic ties for the last five decades. But due to the friendly relationship with the United States, UAE never developed military cooperation with Russia. Still, UAE had openly supported the Russian military movements in Syria in 2015. At the same time, the countries demanding the withdrawal of the sanctions imposed by the western countries against Russia after the Ukrainian conflict included UAE along with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Nearly a month ago, the then US President Donald Trump declared supply of super-advanced F-35 fighter jets to UAE. But Biden announced the suspension of all military cooperation with UAE after taking over as the US President. Infuriated with this decision, UAE had warned the United States that it would purchase fighter jets from Russia.