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UAE says $6.4 billion in contracts signed at major defense fair

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DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates signed defense deals totaling 23.34 billion dirhams ($6.36 billion) at a major five-day defense expo in the capital Abu Dhabi, despite a strong showing by international companies. Local companies are still winning big.

Contracts worth Dh2.2 billion were signed at the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) on Friday, of which Dh1.6 billion went to local companies, a statement from state news agency WAM said.

The week-long industry event attracts key players from the US and Europe, as well as a strong Israeli presence.

While Western pressure is on Gulf states to help isolate Moscow, Russian companies are also involved because of their energy and economic ties to Moscow.

Abu Dhabi defense company EDGE, which had a book value of about $5 billion last year, was awarded a AED4.7 billion contract to supply its subsidiary Halcon with the Desert Sting P5 system on the second day of the event.

The deals were signed by Tawazun Council, the UAE’s defense and security procurement agency, on behalf of the Ministry of Defense, the UAE Armed Forces, security agencies and Abu Dhabi Police.

Organizers said 65 countries participated in IDEX this year, including major U.S. defense groups such as Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

($1 = 3.6724 UAE Dirhams)

(Reporting by Louise Heavens; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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