The sale of Apache helicopters was part of $7.6 billion in deals announced at Dimdex for US companies. (US Army)
DOHA, QATAR — The Qatari Armed Forces today announced deals with US weapons manufactures worth US $7.6 billion, including Apache helicopters, Javelin missiles and PAC 3 Patriot systems.
The deals, announced at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX), came in a string of announcements publicized on the last day of the show totaling 87 billion Qatar rials (US$23.9 billion), which included 17 Turkish fast patrol vessels and German tankers.
The agreements signed by the Qatar Armed Forces included more than 20 contractors, according to the show organizers, involving tanks, artillery, missiles and warships from different countries, including France, Germany, China, Turkey and the US.
Boeing announced the sale of three 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft, and France’s Defence Ministry said Qatar had agreed to buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from a unit of Airbus for €2 billion euros ($2.76 billion) and two Airbus A330 MRTT refueling tankers.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon will provide Patriot configuration-3 modernized fire units and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support, according to a request to Congress presented by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Nov. 6, 2012.
The PAC 3 systems include radar sets, engagement control systems, antenna mast groups, launching stations, missiles and test missiles, multifunctional information distribution systems/low volume terminals, communications equipment, training, spares and related logistical support.
According to the DSCA, the Patriot systems will improve Qatar’s missile defense capability, strengthen homeland defense and deter regional threats. The sale also will enhance Qatar’s interoperability with the US and its allies.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon were awarded a deal for the acquisition of AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow attack helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support at the cost of $2.4 billion.
According to a DSCA notification to Congress presented on July 10, 2012, the government of Qatar requested the sale of 24 Apaches, 56 engines, 27 target acquisition and designation sights, 27 night vision sensors, fire control radars, missile warning systems, radars and other equipment.
The request included 60 Hellfire missile launchers, 576 Hellfire II missiles, 295 Stinger Block I missiles, 50 Stinger air-to-air launchers, Hydra rockets and 90 Apache aviator integrated helmets.
Other equipment includes countermeasure flares, training devices, helmets, simulators, and other support, test and logistical equipment.
According to the DSCA, this sale will aid US foreign policy and national security by helping improve the security of a friendly country that is host to the US Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region.
The agency added in its notification to Congress that acquisition of these helicopters will allow for integration with US forces for training exercises.
The Qatari Armed Forces need to replace aging airframes with multimission attack helicopters capable of meeting requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions.
According to a senior officer in Qatar’s National Security Shield Project, the helicopters will provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability and enhance the protection of key oil and gas infrastructure.
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were awarded contracts to supply 500 Javelin missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $122 million. On March 28 last year, Qatar requested 500 Javelins, 50 command launch units, and associated equipment, spares, support and training.
Lockheed also was awarded a five-year training contract for the Qatar Emiri Air Force Academy. ■