The US State Department has cleared a $260 million worth surface-to-air missiles deal to Qatar last week.
The proposed deal, approved by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, is for 254 tactical missiles, two Rolling Airframe telemetry missiles and associated equipment and support.
The agency stated that selling the weapons to Qatar would improve the national security of the US “by helping to improve the security of a friendly country.”
It continued: “Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the (Gulf) region. This proposed sale will provide Qatar with military capabilities to protect its naval forces and nearby oil/gas infrastructure from air and missile threats.”
It added that the missile sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region”.
The principal contractor for the missiles would be Raytheon. Implementation of the sale would require multiple trips by Raytheon and U.S. government personnel to Qatar over a three-year period to conduct technical reviews, system integration, training and maintenance support.