The United Arab Emirates ordered two military surveillance satellites from France on Monday, in a deal worth more than 700 million euros ($913.2 million).
The Falcon Eye deal, signed in Abu Dhabi over competition from Lockheed Martin of the United States, includes the supply and launch of two high-resolution Helios surveillance satellites, a control station and training for 20 UAE engineers.
The two satellites will be built by Astrium, the space division of EADS, and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between French Thales and Italian Finmeccanica.
They share in half the contract of "a little over 700 million euros," according to Astrium's chief executive officer Francois Auque.
The deal comes with an annex agreement between the two governments, stating that French military personnel will help their Emirati counterparts in interpreting images, and sharing received intelligence, said a member of the team of the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.