WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department cleared a possible foreign military sale of the Raytheon-made Patriot air and missile defense system to Bahrain in a deal estimated to be worth $2.5 billion.
Bahrain would be a new Patriot customer, joining the ranks of 16 countries, including the United States.
Congress was notified of the sale May 3. The legislative body must approve the sale, and quantity of items and costs may change during the process.
The deal would include 60 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, 36 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles with canisters, nine M903 launchers, two AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, control stations and other associated equipment.
Recent new customers include Poland, Romania and Sweden. Other Middle Eastern customers are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The State Department also approved a possible foreign military sale to the UAE for 452 PAC-3 MSE missiles and related equipment for approximately $2.7 billion. This was announced in a separate posting May 3.
Raytheon has seen a relative windfall in new Patriot customers over the past couple of years totaling about $18 billion, but all of those new customers are European and were responding to what they perceive as Russian aggression in the region.
Poland’s Patriot deal is expected to cost about $10.5 billion, according to State Department estimates.
Sweden is the newest customer after holding a competition to buy an air and missile defense system. The country will buy four fire units, 100 GEM-T missiles, 200 PAC-3 MSE missiles and other necessary equipment for roughly $3.2 billion.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.