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Pentagon finalises missile defence system

Lockheed Martin Corp has agreed to supply US and UAE with THAAD missile defence system.

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system. Picture: AFP.

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said on Friday it has finalised a contract worth $4 billion (2.5 billion pounds) with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) to supply equipment for a missile defence system to the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

The deal involves Lockheed's Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system that is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in midair.

The contract reflects growing confidence and demand for the missile defence system, said Riki Ellison, founder of the non-profit Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance.

The deal, which has been in negotiation for several years, will combine orders for the United States and UAE, generating savings for the United States of about 10 percent, said Mat Joyce, Lockheed program manager for THAAD.

The United States is in talks with Qatar on a similar sale.

Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea have also expressed interest, Joyce said.