Qatar Inks Deal to Buy U.S. Patriot Interceptors

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Global Security Newswire Staff
July 15, 2014, 9:21 a.m.

Qatar on Monday inked a deal with the United States to pur­chase Pat­ri­ot mis­sile de­fense sys­tems, amid on­go­ing con­cerns about Ir­an’s weapons work.

As part of a broad­er weapons pack­age worth $11 bil­lion, Qatar is to ac­quire ap­prox­im­ately 10 Pat­ri­ot bat­ter­ies, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted.

Qatar joins a num­ber of oth­er Ar­ab Gulf coun­tries — in­clud­ing the United Ar­ab Emir­ates, Kuwait and Saudi Ar­a­bia — in pur­chas­ing the Pat­ri­ot sys­tem.

Qatari De­fense Min­is­ter Mag. Gen. Ha­mad bin Ali al-At­tiyah and U.S. De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel ce­re­mo­ni­ally signed off on the deal in Wash­ing­ton.

“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 Pentagon spokes­man John Kirby.

The Pentagon wants to see Gulf states con­nect their re­spect­ive an­ti­mis­sile sys­tems to con­struct a broad­er re­gion­al mis­sile shield that can be used to de­ter a pos­sible strike by Ir­an. However, per­suad­ing the na­tions to in­teg­rate their mis­sile de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies has been slow go­ing.

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