Several Arab states are interested in acquiring Textron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including armed versions of the Shadow, according to Tarek Mekhail, the US company’s vice president for the Middle East operations.

“There is a large amount of interest in unmanned aerial systems in the whole region,” Mekhail told IHS Jane’s during the Paris Air Show. “There’s no one that has gone out and made a really big [UAV] purchase yet [so] the market is wide open right now.”

He said Textron has already sold UAVs to one Middle East customer – he could not name – to help monitor oil and gas infrastructure and that the company currently has two proposals out with potential clients and expected to submit a third before the end of the year. […]