Thursday, July 31, 2014

Qatar Commits to Patriot SAM Batteries, Javelin Missiles and Apache Attack Helicopters

Qatar has committed itself towards purchasing over $11 billion worth of arms from the United States. Around $7 billion will be spent on Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile Air Defense Systems, another $3 billion on Apache attack helicopters and the remainder towards Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Around 10 batteries of Patriots with over 350 missiles are expected to be delivered and will include both Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) and PAC-3 variants. The PAC-3 variant was designed specifically to intercept incoming ballistic missiles, including those that Iran could potentially use in a conflict.

Qatar will join Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as countries in the region that have all acquired the Patriot system. Qatar's addition is another step towards a regional missile defense network using common equipment.

All four countries will also operate the Apache with Qatar's decision to acquire 24 AH-64 attack helicopters. Qatar will join Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by purchasing 500 man-portable, fire-and-forget Javelin missiles.

However, Qatar has yet to make a decision on which fighter aircraft it will acquire. The F-15, F-18, Typhoon and Rafale are all competing to replace the French Mirage fighters that are currently being used by Qatar.

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