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Military of the United Arab Emirates

The Trucial Oman Scouts, long the symbol of public order on the coast and commanded by British officers, were turned over to the UAE as its defense forces in 1971. The UAE armed forces, consisting of 65,000 troops, are headquartered in Abu Dhabi and are primarily responsible for the defense of the seven emirates.

The UAE military relies heavily on troop force from other Arab countries and Pakistan. The officer corps, however, is composed almost exclusively of UAE nationals.

The UAE air force has about 3,500 personnel. The air force agreed in 1999 to purchase 80 advanced U.S. F-16 multirole fighter aircraft. Other equipment includes French Mirage 3s and 5s and Mirage 2000s, British Hawk aircraft, and French helicopters. The air defense has a Hawk missile program for which the United States is providing training. The UAE has taken delivery of two of five Triad I-Hawk batteries. The UAE navy is small--about 1,500 personnel--and maintains 12 well-equipped coastal patrol boats and 8 missile crafts.

The UAE sent forces to liberate Kuwait during the 1990-91 Gulf War. In addition, it continues to contribute to the continued security and stability of the Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. It is a leading partner in the campaign against terrorism, providing assistance in the military, diplomatic, and financial arenas. The UAE military provides humanitarian assistance to Iraq.

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense, paramilitary (includes Federal Police Force)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 785,253
note: includes non-nationals (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 422,826 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 24,506 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2.1 billion (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.8% (FY99)

See also : United Arab Emirates