The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has submitted a formal request to purchase F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jets from the U.S., Bloomberg reported citing a U.S. official familiar with the development.
The request came after the signing of a diplomatic agreement by UAE with Israel earlier this month.
The request to the U.S. State Department is the first step in a long process to procure the most advanced U.S.-built aircraft. The sale will be through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the approval from the State Department is the next milestone for the procurement.
The potential purchase already generated some criticism in Israel, the Bloomberg report said. Under American law, Israel is guaranteed weapons needed to maintain its “qualitative military edge” over Arab nations.