The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced intentions to purchase a dozen Chinese L15 fighter jets to reinforce its defenses following a series of raids by Yemeni rebels.
The official Emirati news agency WAM reported that the UAE military ministry plans to ink a contract with China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) to acquire 12 L15 training and light combat aircraft, with the option to buy 36 more of the same kind.
“We have reached the final stage in our talks with the Chinese side. The final contract will be signed soon,” Tareq Al-Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council – the Emirates’ defense and security acquisitions authority – was quoted saying.
The deal’s value was not disclosed.
Tawazun’s goal, according to WAM, was to “develop the UAE’s defense capabilities and to achieve its strategic priorities.”
The UAE’s air force primarily flies F-16 and Mirage aircraft built in the United States and France, respectively. Last year, it placed an order for Rafale fighter planes from France.