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Newest US stealth fighter will debut at Dubai Airshow 2009.

Dubai: The latest US stealth technology fighter plane, the F-22 Raptor, will make its Middle East debut at the Dubai International Airshow 2009 next month.

The plane is produced by Lockheed Martin of the United States.

It is the only fighter with the capacity to simultaneously engage in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions, the manufacturer has said.

This year's airshow expects ten per cent growth over the last show in 2007. Up to 130 aircraft are expected in the static display park with some expected to conduct flying demonstrations.

These also include Dassault's Rafale fighter aircraft, the Falcon L-15 advanced jet trainer from China-based AVIC, a full-scale replica of the Euro-fighter, Embraer Phenom 100, Airbus A380, F-16 and the Boeing 777.

Boeing said that their aircraft on display would be a mix of commercial and defence planes. It will exhibit five aircraft.

The presence of the much-awaited 787 Dreamliner has not yet been confirmed as its schedule is yet to be disclosed, a source in Beijing said.

The mid-sized, wide-bodied aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for September 2007, has been postponed to the end of the year.

The aircraft was initially expected to have been delivered during the first quarter of this year.

The show this year will have a larger focus on defence, with military spending increasing in the region.

Defence spending in the Middle East is predicted to exceed $100 billion (Dh367.3 billion) by 2014, accounting for 11 per cent of arms orders globally, according to a recent report by analysts Frost & Sullivan.

"There is a large number of military contracts from the Middle East [which] will be announced during Dubai Airshow 2009," said Alison Weller, director of show organiser F&E Aerospace.

The UAE spent $4 billion last year on defence, while Saudi Arabia plans to set aside $36 billion annually over the next five years. Bahrain and Jordan plan to buy advanced air-to-air missiles in deals estimated at $200 million, according to the US Department of Defence.

Globally the Middle East is forecast to account for 11 per cent of all arms spending by 2014, the organisers of the show said.

Emirates: 'Probe talk is false' Emirates has dismissed an online report published on Tuesday stating that the carrier is still undera probe by the US Federal Aviation Administration. "Any reports about this are wrong. The case is closed," an Emirates spokesperson said. According to the spokesperson, Emirates had received a request from the FAA concerning fatigue management and had responded. "The FAA found everything in compliance with the regulations," the spokesperson said. Concerns about fatigue and "micro-sleep" by Emirates pilots were recently published by an Australian newspaper, the Sydney Herald, after an incident in March this year when an Emirates flight from Melbourne to Dubai made an emergency landing after the aircraft's tail hit the runway. "The Australian paper got a couple of facts wrong," the spokesperson said. When it released its preliminary report on the incident, the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau indicated it had not found any evidence to suggest fatigue was a causal factor. - Arno Maierbrugger

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 7, 2009
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