WASHINGTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 160 missiles to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an estimated 2 billion U.S. dollars, the Pentagon said Thursday.
The sale includes 60 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles with canisters and 100 Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) missiles, the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of an important ally which has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," said the statement.
The Defense Department said that the proposed sale will enhance the UAE's capability to meet current and future aircraft and missile threats, adding that the sale "will not alter the basic military balance in the region."
The United States and the UAE have been key political allies and close trade partners for decades. The UAE is a member of a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Washington also supports a Saudi-led coalition, of which the UAE is a part, against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In January, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE and they reaffirmed the strong partnership between the two countries.