The United States’ state department has notified Congress it plans to sell 18 sophisticated armed MQ-9B aerial drones to the United Arab Emirates in a deal worth as much as $2.9 billion, according to people briefed on the notification.


The sale would mark the first armed drone export since the US government reinterpreted a Cold War-era arms agreement between 34 nations to allow US defence contractors to sell more drones to allies.

On Tuesday, the US approved a $600 million sale of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones to Taiwan.

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