Monday, March 31, 2014

Qatar Buys Boeing 737 AEW&C, AH-64E and NH-90 Heicopters

Qatar continues to strengthen its armed forces with new acquisitions worth over $20 billion. The latest deals includes three airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems mounted on Boeing 737 aircraft, making it the fourth country to select the type after Australia, South Korea and Turkey.

The aircraft were originally developed for Australia under project Wedgetail and feature a non-rotating radar in contrast to the rotodome found on E-3 Sentry aircraft. They will join the C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft that Qatar previously acquired from the United States.

Qatar has significantly boosted its helicopter fleet with the purchase of 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing and 22 NH90 helicopters from NH Industries, consisting of 12 NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) variant and 10 NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) maritime variant.

Qatar is also acquiring two Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. Like the Apache helicopters, this type is also in service with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Future plans include the acquisition of the Patriot PAC-3 air defense system in the near term. Other recently acquired systems by Qatar include the purchase of 62 Leopard II Tanks and 24 PzH2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers from Germany

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