Photo: U.S. Missile defence Agency
The U.S. is selling one of the most advanced missile systems on the planet to a country with an abysmal human rights records.Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area defence (THAAD) system is the most effective weapon when it comes to shooting incoming missiles right out of the sky.
As of yesterday, a total of 138 of these launchers are headed to the United Arab Emirates.
Lockheed Martin will be getting $2 Billion for the contract.
The UAE is a federation of absolute monarchies. It’s comprised of seven principalities, each with its own absolute monarch. It’s got the sixth largest oil reserves in the world.
The original sale was announced late last year, and it looks like the UAE wanted to add on to the order.
While $2 billion may sound like a lot, the UAE has been known for extravagant expenditures. It’s notorious because of the explosive expansion of its largest city, Dubai, and the international human rights issues that came with that construction.
The GDP of that city alone was $82 billion in 2008.
Dubai is also home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building — and also its tallest man made structure.
Those achievements are likely what the UAE is trying to defend with THAAD.
The THAAD system is designed to intercept medium to intermediate sized missiles, and even has some capability against Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
Using advanced radar, the THAAD system launches a missile that intercepts the incoming threat. The THAAD missile has no warhead, and is only designed to strike and detonate the incoming missile’s warhead while it remains at a safe distance.
The U.S. sells all kinds of tech to all kinds of countries.
But this is first country other than Israel to get THAAD.
Lockheed is forbidden from selling tech to certain nations, and the Department of defence (DoD) serves as a middleman in the transaction. A buyer approaches the DoD, the Department approves the buyer, the DoD buys the tech using its budget, then sells the tech to the bidding nation.
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