ABU DHABI -- U.S. planemaker Boeing (BA.N) and defence consortium Euro Art were among companies awarded contracts worth a total of $817 million so far at a defence exhibition in the United Arab Emirates.
The deals worth 3 billion dirhams ($817 million) awarded by the UAE at the show in the capital Abu Dhabi signalled that Gulf Arab defence spending would continue despite economic slowdown and a fall in oil prices.
While Boeing will supply spare parts and ground equipment in a deal valued at 373 million dirhams, Euro Art -- a consortium of European planemaker EADS (EAD.PA), U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), and French peer Thales (TCFP.PA) -- will supply the COBRA (counter battery radar) system worth 893 million dirhams.
"The economic downturn has nothing to do with IDEX (defence show). When we talk about security, each state has its own priorities. I do not think there is any impact on defence," exhibition spokesman, Obeid al-Ketbi, told reporters.
Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Development Company said it signed an initial agreement to set up a military aviation maintenance centre in the emirate in a joint venture with United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Sikorsky Aerospace Services unit. It did not give the value of the deal.
Thales was awarded a 157 million dirham contract to supply internal communications systems for the UAE army's Leclerc battle tanks.
Other deals expected before the exhibition ends on Thursday include the purchase of military transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin and Boeing and training jets from an Italian manufacturer, Ketbi said.
The show saw more than 10,700 visitors and 105 exhibitors from local, regional and international companies.
This global business aviation services provider announced a major expansion to its Middle East fleet.
Abu Dhabi Air Expo brings together the major players in general aviation.