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As part of the military of the United Arab Emirates, the United Arab Emirates Army is responsible for land operations.

United Arab Emirates Army
Country United Arab Emirates
RoleGround warfare
Part ofUnion Defence Force
Garrison/HQAbu Dhabi
ColorsBlack and Desert Sand Camo


Operational historyEdit

UAE army soldiers in a joint training exercise with South Korean soldiers in United Arab Emirates.

The Union Defence Force were used on two occasions in Sharjah. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external and internal aggression, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated synonymously, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. Armed force is the use of armed forces to achieve political objectives.

Sharjah-Fujairah border conflictsEdit

In February 1973 following a brief border war between armed Bedouin tribesmen from both Sharjah Emirate and Fujairah Emirate over a disputed area of land which covered a quarter of an acre and included water wells and date palm trees. 22 people were killed and another 12 were wounded before UDF troops were able to impose a ceasefire.

First Gulf WarEdit

During the War against Iraq, UAE troops reported that they have deployed several thousands of men in that engagement. The UDF participated in the conflict as part of the GCC, as part of the Peninsula Shield force that advanced into the city of Kuwait. United States military aviation bombed the Iraqi positions from the UAE, and United States ships operated out of UAE ports along the coast of the Persian Gulf. The UAE Air Force also carried out strikes against Iraqi forces. A total of six UAE combat deaths were reported as a result of these battles.

Yemeni Civil War (2015-present)Edit

During the 2015 Yemeni Civil War the United Arab Emirates Army (together with Saudi Army soldiers)intervened in support of fighters loyal to the ousted regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against Houthi militants. UAE troops assisted anti-Houthi fighters in the re-taking of the strategic southern Yemeni port city of Aden and also Al Anad Air Base, the largest airbase in Yemen.

On 4 September 2015 the army suffered its heaviest loss in modern history, losing 52 soldiers in war in Yemen to a tactical ballistic missile strike.[1] The UAE has since deployed an entire armoured brigade to Yemen.[2]

Up until May 2017 the UAE forces have suffered 89 casualties.[3][4][5]

On 3 May 2018, the United Arab Emirates deployed over 100 troops, artillery and armoured vehicles to the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra in the Arabian Sea without prior coordination with the internationally recognised Government of Yemen[6]. Shortly after landing, UAE forces expelled Yemeni soldiers stationed at key installations, including Socotra Airport and the flag of the United Arab Emirates was raised above official government buildings in Hadibu.[7]

Army equipmentEdit


Model Image Origin Type Number Notes
Armoured vehicles
Leclerc Tropic     France/  United Arab Emirates Main Battle Tank 434 388 + 46 armoured recovery vehicles, as of March 2018.
Reconnaissance vehicle
FV101 Scorpion     United Kingdom Reconnaissance vehicle 76
Armoured personnel carrier
AMX-13P     France Armoured personnel carrier 11
Patria AMV     Finland
Armoured personnel carrier 40 The United Arab Emirates Army ordered[8] an initial evaluation batch of 15 vehicles.[9] Some of these vehicles will be equipped with the Patria Nemo turret while others will be equipped with BMP-3 turrets and have therefore been slightly modified, including a somewhat longer hull.[10] In January 2016, the General Headquarters of the UAE armed forces ordered 40 Patria AMV hulls with the option of 50 more.[11][12] The vehicles were shipped in June 2016 from Patria's Polish production line.[13] The Patrias are used in Yemen in combat operations.[14]
EE-11 Urutu     Brazil Armoured personnel carrier 60[15]
BTR-3     Ukraine Armored personnel carrier 90 Used By UAE Marines and 90 Guardians.[16]
Infantry Fighting Vehicle
FNSS ACV-15     Turkey Armored fighting vehicle 133 [17] 133 ACV-300 in service.
BMP-3     Russia Infantry Fighting Vehicle 598 250 for Abu Dhabi & 402 for Dubai[18] (of which 391 delivered in 1992–1997) with "Namut" thermal sight and other modifications. They are under further upgrade with modular armour "Kaktus" and UTD-32 engine.[19]
AMX-10P     France Infantry Fighting Vehicle 18
Non-Combat Armoured vehicles
Nimr   United Arab Emirates Multipurpose wheeled vehicle 3,000
Oshkosh M-ATV     United States Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected 794
International MaxxPro     United States MRAP Category 1 & 2 3,375 3,375 MaxxPros of various versions on order.[20]
BAE Caiman     United States MRAP Category 1 & 2 388 active
321 available
222 operational
In September 2014, the U.S. approved a $2.5 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates Army for over 4,500 surplus U.S. MRAPs for increased force protection, conducting humanitarian assistance operations, and protecting vital international commercial trade routes and critical infrastructure. 1,150 vehicles were Caimans.[20]
RG-31 Nyala     South Africa Infantry Mobility Vehicle 76
TPz Fuchs     West Germany NBCRS (Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance System) 32 32 Fuchs 2 NBC reconnaissance vehicles ordered in February 2005 under a contract valued at EUR160 million (USD205 million).[21] The order comprises 16 NBC reconnaissance vehicles, eight bio vehicles and eight command post vehicles, which will provide the UAE with a complete NBC detection capability linked to a command-and-control system.[21]

Artillery and air defenceEdit

Model Image Origin Type Number Notes
Self-propelled artillery
G6 howitzer     South Africa Self-propelled artillery 78 78 systems[22]
M109 howitzer     United States Self-propelled artillery 87 40 (from Switzerland)
Mk F3 155mm     France Self-propelled artillery 18
Artillery and air defence
Jobaria Multiple Cradle Launcher     United Arab Emirates Multiple rocket launcher 24 world's largest multiple rocket launcher unique to the United Arab Emirates Army.
BM-21 Grad     Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 48
Towed Howitzer
L118 light gun     United Kingdom Field gun 56
Type 59     China Field gun 20 Type 59 variant[15]
Surface-to-air missile
Rapier     United Kingdom Short-range Surface-to-air missile 24

Infantry weaponsEdit

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
Browning Hi-Power     Belgium Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum [23]
Heckler & Koch P7     West Germany Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum P7M13 variant.[23]
Caracal pistol     United Arab Emirates Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum Primary service issued pistol.[24]
SIG P228      Switzerland Handgun 9×19mm Parabellum
Submachine guns
Heckler & Koch MP5     West Germany Submachine Gun 9×19mm Parabellum .
CAR 816/Sultan     United Arab Emirates Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Primary service issued rifle.[25] Rifles are engraved honoring Colonel Sultan Mohammad Ali Al Ketbi.[26]
FAMAS     France Bullpup assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO In use with the Special Forces.[27]
AK-47     Soviet Union Assault Rifle 7.62×39mm Arsenal is captured or collected from enemy.[28]
FN FAL     Belgium Assault Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO In reserve since 2010.[23]
Heckler & Koch G3     West Germany Battle Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO In reserve.[23]
M4 carbine     United States Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO Previous standard issue service rifle. Purchased 2,500 M4 carbines in 1993.[29]
M16A4     United States Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO In reserve.[30]
T91 assault rifle     Taiwan Assault Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Special forces only. 30,000 rifles[31]
Machine guns
FN Minimi     Belgium Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO Standard light machine gun of the United Arab Emirates Army.
Rheinmetall MG3     West Germany General-purpose machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO HK23E variant.[23]
Heckler & Koch MG5     Germany General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO
M2 Browning     United States Heavy machine gun 12.7×99mm NATO Standard heavy machine gun United Arab Emirate. Mostly as vehicle armament.[23]
Sniper rifles
Lobaev Sniper Rifle     Russia
  United Arab Emirates
Sniper Rifle .50 BMG
Heckler & Koch MSG90     Germany Designated Marksman Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO
M107/M107A1     United States Anti-materiel rifle 12.7×99mm NATO Standard Issue Sniper Rifle.[32]
Grenade launchers
M203 grenade launcher     United States Grenade launcher 40×46mm
Anti-tank weapons
AT-5 Spandrel     Soviet Union Anti-tank Missile 135mm

Decommissioned equipmentEdit

  •   AMX-30S – 45 (ordered 1977, is phased out from service)
  •   OF-40 Mk.2 – 36 (all of these MBT are phased out from service)
  •   Hwasong-5 - 25 (ordered 1989, decommissioned due to dis-satisfactory quality)[33][34]


  1. ^ al-Shamahi, Abubakr. "UAE mourns losses in Yemen". Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  2. ^ Gardner, Frank (25 September 2015). "Yemen conflict: No end in sight, six months on". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  3. ^ "UAE: 'War is over' for Emirati troops in Yemen". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  4. ^ "UAE soldier dies in Yemen". Gulf Business. 6 September 2016. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
    "UAE soldier killed in anti-Houthi operation in Yemen" Archived 26 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine
    "UAE soldier killed in Yemen war" Archived 2 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Emirati soldier martyred in Yemen". Gulf News. 2 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  6. ^ "UAE deploys troops to Yemen's Socotra island". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 7 May 2018. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Anger erupts on Yemen's Socotra as UAE deploys over 100 troops". Al-Jazeera. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  8. ^ Patria’s AMV vehicle selected for United Arab Emirates (29.1.2008)[permanent dead link]
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  10. ^ "Image of Patria AMV with BMP-3 turred at IDEX 2007". Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ "UAE orders Patria AMVs | IHS Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  12. ^ United Arab Emirates has ordered Finnish-made Patria AMV 8x8 armoured vehicles Archived 30 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine -, 28 January 2016
  13. ^ Rosomak APC For The UAE. Agreement Finalized. Improved Armour, No Amphibious Capabilities. Archived 14 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Patria AMV 8x8 armored combat proven in Yemen with UAE army - December 2017 Global Defense Security news industry - Defense Security global news industry army 2017 - Archive News year". Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Trade Registers". Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  16. ^ "UN Register of Conventional Arms – UNODA". Archived from the original on 14 December 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  17. ^ "ACV-S Tracked Armoured Combat Vehicle". Arny-Technology. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  18. ^ [1] Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Россия завершает программу модернизацию части парка БМП-3 армии ОАЭ". Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b United States approved major contract of MRAP vehicles for UAE Archived 7 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine -, 27 September 2014
  21. ^ a b "Emirates' Fuchs will be most advanced yet". IHS Jane's. 10 May 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  22. ^ "G6 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer, South Africa". Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (27 January 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  24. ^ "UAE Armed Forces Unification Day: Report". Emirates News Agency. 4 May 2017. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  25. ^ "UAE firearms manufacturer Caracal sees huge growth potential". Gulf News. 26 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  26. ^ "UAE firearms manufacturer Caracal sees huge growth potential". Gulf News. 26 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  27. ^ Bishop, Chris. Guns in Combat. Chartwell Books, Inc (1998). ISBN 0-7858-0844-2.
  28. ^ Richard D. Jones; Leland S. Ness, eds. (27 January 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009–2010 (35 ed.). Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  29. ^ Daniel Watters. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 1990–1994". Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  30. ^ Jane's Special Forces Recognition Guide, Ewen Southby-Tailyour (2005) p. 446.
  31. ^ "UAE `given guns' for Chen visit". Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  32. ^ Gander, Terry (2006). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2006–2007. London: Jane's Information Group. p. 22. ISBN 0-7106-2755-6.
  33. ^ Samuel Ramani. "Why Did the UAE Purchase Weapons From North Korea?". Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  34. ^ United States, Congress. House. Committee on International Relations (2000). U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: Hearing Before the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, Part 2. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 91–92. ISBN 9780160607646.

External linksEdit