UAE buys French surveillance satellites

The United Arab Emirates has signed a 700-million-euro deal with France to buy two military surveillance satellites.

The Falcon Eye deal, which is worth more than 700 million euros ($913.2 million), was signed in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Reports say that the deal includes the supply and launch of two high-resolution Helios surveillance satellites, a control station, and training for 20 UAE engineers.

The agreement also stipulates that French military personnel will help Emiratis in interpreting images and sharing received intelligence.

According to the agreement, Astrium, the space division of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between French Thales and Italian Finmeccanica, will build the two satellites.

“This evening, we reached a milestone, which is the building of trust,” said French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during his flight to Abu Dhabi.

The last significant military order received by Paris from the UAE — a traditional customer of France — date back to 2007, when the Yahsat contract was signed. It included the delivery of two communication satellites, and the purchase of three Airbus Military MRTT tanker aircraft.

On June 23, French President Francois Hollande also made proposals for supplying military equipment to Qatar.

Å“I made new proposals for air, land, and naval defense. I am quite confident that we will make progress in each of these areas,” Hollande said in an interview with Qatar’s state news agency QNA. Å“We supply light and modern arms to the Qatari army,” he added.


Republished with permission from: Press TV