Qatar, Oman eye US military sales worth $1.2bn
By staff - Fri Jun 15, 6:11 am
The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency is eyeing military sales of more than $1bn to Qatar and Oman.
It said in a statement that the Qatar Government was interested in buying military hardware including 12 Black hawk helicopters.
The possible sale to Qatar would also include 26 engines, 15 common missile warning systems, 15 laser detecting sets, 15 radar signal detecting sets, 26 machine guns, and 26 night vision goggles.
The prime contractors will be Sikorsky Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut, and General Electric Aircraft Company in Lynn, Massachusetts.
The estimated cost of the deal is $1.112bn, the agency said on its website.
“The proposed sale of the helicopters will improve Qatar’s capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical oil and natural gas infrastructure, and significant national events,” the statement said.
The agency said in a separate statement that it was also negotiating a military sale to Oman.
It said the Government of Oman was interested in a deal for 55 Sidewinder All-Up-Round missiles, 36 Sidewinder Captive Air Training missiles, 6 tactical guidance units, 4 captive air training missile guidance units, one dummy air training missile, and other related equipment.
The prime contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.
It added that the estimated cost of the potential sale was $86m.
“The Government of Oman is modernising its F-16 fighter aircraft fleet to better support its own air defence needs. The proposed sale of missiles will provide a significant increase in Oman’s defensive capability while enhancing interoperability with the US and other allies,” the agency said.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the agency added about both potential sales.
In March, data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said the UAE was the largest importer of arms in the Middle East over the last five years, with its total volume of annual purchases rising by 153 percent in 2011.
The Swedish institute’s list ranked the Gulf state ninth in the world for total weapons sales between 2007 and 2011.
Despite being unaffected by the Arab Spring civil unrest that swept through the region in 2011, the total volume of arms imported into the UAE soared 153 percent last year to 1.4bn units.