The United Arab Emirates ranks fourth in the list of the most powerful militaries in the Middle East. Here are some data.
$14.4 billion defense budget
65,000 active frontline personnel
The United Arab Emirate’s Union Defense Force is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and boasts diversified military equipment from the US, Russia, UK, Ukraine, France, Italy, and Germany.
Simply put, it’s the Middle East’s rising military power. The UAE has bought new weapons systems, upgraded its existing ones, brought in American trainers and contractors, and instituted universal military service for males. It has been closely involved in the fight against ISIS, and it secretly deployed jets from Egypt to bomb Islamist militants within Libya without US support.
Megahan says that the UAE’s air force has upgraded its planes to the point where it flies some of the most advanced F-16’s on earth. It has even looked into purchasing the F-35. Emirate defense spending has increased by 85% since 2004, and it has now cracked the top 15 of global defense spenders — incredibly for a country with only 9 million citizens.
Key allies: The US and other Gulf monarchies.
Source Business Insider UK 2014