World

United Arab Emirates inks $1 billion deal with Airbus and Thales for satellite systems

  • Emirati officials visit the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Emirati officials visit the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • The "Al Fursan", The Knights, UAE Air Force aerobatic display team perform at the opening ceremony of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    The "Al Fursan", The Knights, UAE Air Force aerobatic display team perform at the opening ceremony of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

An official in the United Arab Emirates says the Gulf federation has reached a deal valued at just over $1 billion to buy satellite systems from European manufacturers Airbus and Thales.

The deal was announced Monday, the second day of the International Defense Exhibition, in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.

Exhibition chairman Obadi al-Ketbi says the deal for the satellites and related equipment is worth 3.75 billion dirhams ($1.02 billion), part of roughly $2.6 billion in equipment purchases announced by the Emirates. He did not give details on the satellites' use.

The seven-state Emirates federation has been investing heavily in space technology, and last year announced plans to send the first unmanned Arab spaceship to Mars.

IDEX is the largest expo of military equipment in the Middle East.