Qatar signs deal for new coastal defense system

An Exocet MM40 B3 firing

MBDA

An Exocet MM40 B3 firing

Qatar has just signed a deal to install a defense system along its coast to help stop hostile ships entering its territorial waters.

The country’s Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) will pay European firm MBDA an as-yet undisclosed sum for the system, which will use Exocet and Marte ER missiles.

The new deal follows an agreement in July under which Qatar contracted MBDA to outfit seven of its newest ships with missiles, a deal worth around $1.1 billion.

Exocet MM40 B3 Firing

MBDA

Exocet MM40 B3 Firing

Announcing the agreement on its website, MBDA – which is jointly owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo-Finmeccanica – said it’s now a major supplier to Qatar:

“MBDA is now one of the country’s leading defense suppliers and will continue to show its long-standing commitment and support for the Qatari Armed Forces” the company’s CEO Antoine Bouvier said.

This deal is the latest in a series designed to protect Qatar’s large coastline and massive offshore gas resources.

Air force expansion

Aside from boosting coastline security, Qatar is also investing in new aircraft as it expands its air defense capability.

According to Reuters, US lawmakers are finally set to approve Qatar’s purchase of 36 F-15 fighter jets from Boeing.

Military publication Defense News previously said that the $7 billion sale had been held up after Israeli lobbyists voiced “concerns” about the transaction.

The Dassault Rafale

@mopictures / Flickr

The Dassault Rafale

Boeing is not the only company hoping to supply Qatar with new fighters jets, however.

Last year, Qatar agreed to purchase 24 Rafale planes from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation in a deal worth QR27.75 billion.

Meanwhile, both the UK ambassador to Qatar and the British Defense Secretary said that they remain hopeful Qatar will buy Typhoon fighter jets from BAE Systems.

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