The Gulf state experienced drone and missile attacks in January and February.
Israel indicates sale of an Air Defense System to UAE. As per two sources, Israel has agreed to sell a sophisticated air defense system to the United Arab Emirates. This is the first reported trade between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations in 2020.
The agreement demonstrates how, for certain Arab governments, the resolution of the decades-long Israel-Palestinian dispute has been eclipsed by national concerns such as national security and the economy.
The ultimate concern shared by Israel and the U.S.-aligned UAE is that Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, which Tehran rejects.
Mid-summer, Israel authorized a United Arab Emirates request to provide the Gulf state with Rafael-made SPYDER mobile interceptors, according to two sources, who declined to disclose additional information owing to the sensitivity of the agreement.
According to a third source, the UAE has obtained Israeli equipment capable of defending against drone assaults comparable to those that attacked Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense and SPYDER maker Rafael refused to comment. Likewise, the foreign ministry of the UAE did not react.
It was not immediately clear how many interceptors, mounted on trucks and can protect against short- and long-range threats would be delivered or if any had already been sent.
Ram Ben-Barak, chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Israeli Knesset, said on September 20 that there was a comprehensive collaboration with the UAE but refused to elaborate.
UAE defensive capabilities
The Gulf state experienced drone and missile attacks in January and February. Therefore, the necessity to improve the UAE’s air defense capabilities has grown. A strike in Abu Dhabi killed three people, although the majority of strikes were intercepted.
Foreign diplomats said that this attack shook the leadership of the UAE, which has long bragged about its security and stability in a turbulent area. A terminal under construction at Abu Dhabi airport was also struck, hurting civilian employees, according to individuals informed on the assault.
According to the sources, some missiles and drones flew at low altitudes to avoid detection by the UAE’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot interceptors manufactured in the United States.
Rafael asserts that SPYDER can protect broad regions against threats like drones, cruise missiles, assault aircraft, helicopters, and bombers, even at low altitudes.
In January, when visiting the UAE, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that Israel supports the UAE’s security requirements. In addition, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said last week that he was outraged by the assaults and that Israel stands with the UAE.
The majority of attacks were claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which the UAE has been battling in Yemen as part of a Saudi Arabian-led military coalition attempting to restore the deposed government.
Protect against Iranian drone and missile assaults
Mid-summer, when the United Governments and Israel were pressuring Arab states to join their air defense systems to better protect against Iranian drone and missile assaults, is when sources say the interceptors agreement was completed.
Some Arab governments with whom Israel has no diplomatic connections resisted this plan, Reuters reported in July. Still, an Israeli official said partner nations were synchronizing their systems through distant electronic communication.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE president’s diplomatic advisor, told reporters in July that the UAE would examine anything that defends the country from drones and missiles as long as it was defensive and did not target a third nation.
Also Read: UAE introduces new visa policy
In 2020, the Persian Gulf nation Bahrain also forged connections with Israel, and the two inked a security pact afterward. This year, Israel and the UAE struck a free trade agreement, Israel’s first with an Arab state. This week, negotiations with Bahrain began.