As part of a $7.3 billion contract between Qatar and the United States, the Air Force along with Raytheon will develop an Air and Missile Defense Operations Center (ADOC) for both US and foreign ground-based air and missile defense systems, USAF said in a statement Wednesday.
Gerry Cavallo, program manager said, "We will also ensure that all associated weapons and sensors can operate as an integrated air and missile defense system for the QEAF (Qatar Emiri Air Force)."
In addition to the integration activity described above, Cavallo said that the Letter of Offer and Acceptance specifies secure interoperability with US and coalition forces. Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries that includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.
"The US, coalition forces and potentially the Gulf Cooperation Council share information for united defense, so we need to ensure appropriate security and disclosure protocols are in place," said Cavallo. "We'll be working very closely with CENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) to address these challenges."
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel signed the LOA in July with Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah for the total joint Army and Air Force effort. The Army's role is to deliver the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, which will be one of the systems integrated into the ADOC.
Following the signing, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said, "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."
An ADOC initial operational capability is required before the first Qatar Patriot fire unit delivery.
"We have to develop the ADOC quickly to keep pace with Patriot production from an existing assembly line," said Cavallo.
From the date of the LOA, the anticipated schedule for the overall effort, including integration and test in Qatar, is 72 months.