Mar 28, 2014
Qatar to buy Apache, NH-90 Helicopters, B-737 AEW&C, and Patriot PAC-3 missiles in a multibillion deal
The weapons purchases include large deals with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and others.
Qatar, and other Gulf Arab and Middle Eastern countries are looking to acquire new high-tech military equipment to protect themselves from neighboring Iran and internal threats after the Arab Spring uprising.
Boeing confirmed that the announcement included a contract to buy 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and three Boeing 737 Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
France's Defense Ministry said Qatar had agreed to buy 22 NH90 military helicopters and two Airbus A330 MRTT refueling tankers.
Qatar's air force has no in-flight refueling capability today, but it has been steadily building up its transport capacity.
Lockheed has delivered four C-130J-30s and Boeing has delivered four C-17s to Doha in the last four years, joining a fleet of Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft serving as VIP transports.
The tanker selection also comes amidst an extended selection process for Qatar to buy up to 72 fighters to replace an ageing fleet of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5s.
The bidding process has drawn interest from western fighter makers , with the Boeing F-15E and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F-16 all in contention.
Qatar also committed to buy a Patriot missile defense system built by Raytheon equipped with PAC-3 missiles.
The Pentagon approved the sale to Qatar of of Patriot fire units, radars, and various Raytheon and Lockheed missiles in November 2012.
The DSCA, the U.S. body which oversees foreign arms sales, had notified lawmakers in July 2012 of a possible sale of Apache helicopters to Qatar.