Qatar spends big on American choppers and missiles


An Apache gunship performs during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford this month. (Tim Ireland/Getty Images)

Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter, is using its gas money to cash in on some top-of-the-line U.S. supplied military hardware.

Qatar’s defense minister, Hamad Bin Ali al-Attiyah, met with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and signed acceptance letters for $11 billion worth of Apache attack helicopters, Patriot missile defense batteries and anti-tank Javelin missiles, the Pentagon said in a statement Monday.

“Today’s signing ceremony underscores the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the area of security and defense and will help improve our bilateral cooperation across a range of military operations,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

The MIM-104 Patriot is a long-range surface-to-air missile system known primarily for its anti-ballistic missile capabilities, while the FGM-148 Javelin is an anti-tank missile system that also has the ability to engage low-flying helicopters.

In March, Qatar announced it would spend $23 billion to purchase a slew of attack helicopters, mid-air refueling tankers and guided missiles from companies like Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

In addition to its contracts with American defense giants, Qatar has also agree to buy a number of NH90 helicopters from NHIndustries for $2.76 billion. Airbus’ Eurocopter helicopter unit is the majority shareholder in NHIndustries.

Qatar, like other Gulf and Middle Eastern countries, has drastically increased defense spending in recent years.

“This is a critically important relationship in the region,” Kirby said.  “And the secretary is pleased to be able to continue to make it stronger.”

Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a staff writer and a former Marine infantryman.

world/national-security

checkpoint

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read World

world/national-security

checkpoint

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Dan Lamothe · July 14, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.