The Trump administration formally notified Congress that it plans to sell 50 stealth F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the United States planned to sell top-of-the-line F-35 fighter jets to the UAE as part of a broader $23.37 billion package. The State Department sent a formal notice to Congress on the sale of the stealth precision planes, long sought by the Gulf Arab ally which won a green light after agreeing in September to recognize Israel. The $23.37bn package includes up to 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, the State Department said. The US Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees – whose members have criticised UAE’s role in civilian deaths in Yemen’s civil war – review major weapons sales before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, criticised the arms sale to the UAE, saying it would constrain the options of President-elect Joe Biden who has signalled he will return the US to the Iran nuclear agreement. In the past, the F-35 has been denied to Arab states while Israel has about 24 of the jets. Israel is currently slated to buy 50 of the fighters.