(Corrects paragraph 3 to say Raytheon supplies the radar, not missile interceptors used with the system)
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON, Sept 8 – The Bush administration is planning to sell the United Arab Emirates an advanced U.S. missile defense system valued at up to $7 billion that could be used to defend against Iran, people who have attended briefings on the matter said on Monday.
The Pentagon is set to notify the U.S. Congress of the proposed sale, which would be the first of the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, several people familiar with the matter said.
THAAD is built by Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N>. Raytheon Co <RTN.N> supplies the system’s radar.
Once notified of such a proposed arms sale by the administration, Congress has 30 days to review it but almost never blocks.
In any case, deployment of the THAAD weapons system is “at least months away” and could take more than a year, said a congressional staff member familiar with the matter.
Kenneth Katzman, an expert on the Gulf at the Congressional Research Service, said the UAE has been eager for a “sophisticated antidote” to Iran’s missile capabilities.
“The UAE has been concerned for many years about possible retaliation against it for U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities,” he said.
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