00:08 GMT05 June 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force Air Defense (AFAD) ordered a batch of Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) to arm the nation’s fleet of Mirage aircraft in a direct commercial contract, Lockheed Martin said in a press release on Wednesday.

    “Deliveries of Sniper ATPs and spares will support the UAE AFAD’s requirement to provide precision targeting capability for their existing Mirage 2000 fleet. UAE AFAD currently employs Sniper ATP on its F-16 Block 60 aircraft,” the release said.

    A direct commercial sale bypasses the State Department, which in the past approved or rejected arms sales requests from other nations.

    The Sniper ATP detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser designates small tactical targets at long ranges. It also supports the employment of all laser- and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets, the release said.

    The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that depends on US-made weapons to prosecute a military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    The Trump administration has repeatedly rejected requests from Congress and other nations to block, or at least limit, weapons sales to the Saudi-led coalition, in part due to attacks on civilian targets such as open-air markets and schools, according to media reports.

    Tags:
    defence, order, Lockheed Martin, United Arab Emirates
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