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UAE seeks $380M in JDAM bomb kits from United States

Kits that convert free-fall bombs into precision glide weapons are being sought by the United Arab Emirates.

By
Richard Tomkins
An F-15 drops JDAM-equipped bombs in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller
An F-15 drops JDAM-equipped bombs in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The United Arab Emirates is seeking Joint Direct Attack Munition kits for use in air operations against the Islamic State and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The JDAM kits are attached to free-fall bombs, converting them into GPS-guided munitions with a glide range of as much as 15 miles.

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The kits, associated equipment, parts and logistical support to be obtained through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program have a combined worth of an estimated $380 million.

"This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping the UAE remain an active member of the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition working to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and as part of the Saudi-led coalition to restore the legitimate government in Yemen," the U.S.Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notification to Congress. "These munitions will sustain the UAE's efforts and support a key partner that remains an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."

On the shopping list from the UAE are: 3,250 GBU-31V1 (KMU-556 JDAM kit) with 3250 MK-84/BLU-117 bombs; 750 GBU-31V3 (KMU-557 JDAM kit) with 750 BLU-109 bombs; 1,000 GBU-12 with 1002 MK-82/BLU-111 bombs; 4,250 FMU-152 fuzes, and 216 GBU-24 tail kits (BSU-84).

DSCA said in its notification that the U.S. State Department has approved the possible sales deal.

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