(MENAFN) According to two people familiar with the transaction, Israel has sold the United Arab Emirates its Surface-to-Air Python and Derby (SPYDER) air defense system. According to a third source, Abu Dhabi also bought Israeli anti-drone equipment.
The SPYDER is a short- to medium-range air defense system made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems that can fire Python-5 and Derby missiles with respective ranges of 20 and 50 kilometers. The technology is intended to find and eliminate drones, cruise missiles, and other aircraft and can detect aircraft from 70 to 110 kilometers away. It is unknown how many interceptors were being transported or if they had already reached the United Arab Emirates.
Although Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam all have SPYDER systems, the United Arab Emirates could be the first Middle Eastern country outside of Israel to do so. According to reports, the purchase was made about the same time that the United States and Israel were forming the Middle East Air Defense Alliance, a plan to coordinate regional air defense systems to thwart Iranian drone and missile threats that West Jerusalem formally disclosed in June.
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