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The New Arab

US approves $467 million in military sales to Qatar and UAE

The US approved $197 million worth of equipment for Qatar's air force [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 March, 2018

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A total of $467 million worth of potential foreign military sales to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates was approved by the US State Department, the Pentagon said.

The US State Department approved a total of $467 million worth of potential foreign military sales to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said in separate approval notices on Thursday.

Raytheon Co was listed as the prime contractor for both the foreign military sales.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force was approved for $197 million worth of equipment to upgrade its air operations centre, according to the Pentagon statement.

Qatar was cleared to buy global positioning system equipment and information distribution systems, the Pentagon said.

Separately, the United Arab Emirates was approved to buy 300 Sidewinder missiles, training missiles, tactical guidance units, and spares and support. The total estimated cost of the sale to UAE was $270.4 million, the Pentagon said.

In December, Qatar signed a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy 24 Typhoon fighters from Britain -its second major defence agreement this week - which comes during the worst political crisis in the region for years.

The $8 billion deal was signed in Doha by Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah and his British counterpart, Gavin Williamson.

Williamson said it was the biggest order for Typhoons in a decade, and it follows a billion-dollar deal signed by Qatar on December 7 to buy 12 French Dassault Aviation warplanes.

"These formidable jets will boost the Qatari military's mission to tackle the challenges we both share in the Middle East, supporting stability in the region and delivering security at home," said the British minister.

The deal also includes an intention for Qatar to buy further military equipment from Britain, namely the purchase of Hawk aircraft.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the two countries for this Typhoon contract in September.

A statement from Qatar's armed forces said the two ministers also signed an "agreement for building up a Joint Operational Squadron" between the two countries' air forces to provide security during the 2022 football World Cup, which the Gulf state will host.

Doha has also struck deals with the US and Italy as well as France.



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