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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Qatar signs $1.1 billion deal for new early radar warning system

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Raytheon early warning radar system. Credit: Raytheon

US-based defense firm Raytheon has been awarded a $1.1 billion contract to build an early warning radar system for Qatar, the Pentagon has announced.

In a statement, the firm said the system will be integrated into Qatar’s current air and missile defense capabilities once it is completed by mid-2021.

The deal has been in the works for almost four years.

Qatar first put in a request to purchase the radar system in 2013. The contract has since been awaiting lawmaker approval.

Regional stability

At the time, the order package included an A/N FPS-132 Block 5 Early Warning Radar. Additional parts and equipment, training and technical support were also part of the deal.

The system is capable of detecting “sea-launched or intercontinental ballistic missiles” at a range of up to 3,000 miles (4,828 km) and is capable of tracking them in real time, US Defense documents show.

Credit: Raytheon

When notifying Congress about the contract, the United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the sale would “promote regional stability by enhancing regional defense to a key U.S. ally.”

It continued:

“The acquisition of this air defense system would provide a permanent defensive capability to the Qatar Peninsula as well as protection of the economic infrastructure and well-being of Qatar.”

Defense

Qatar has spent billions of dollars shoring up its defenses in the past few years amid growing regional instability.

In December, it placed a $29.5 million order with US firm Lockheed Martin for an unspecified number of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC3) missiles and PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

Patriot missile. Credit: U.S Pacific Command

And last fall, the government signed a deal to install a defense system along its coast to help stop hostile ships from entering its waters.

Qatar is also investing in new aircraft as it expands its air defense capability. For example, US lawmakers recently approved Qatar’s purchase of 36 F-15 fighter jets from Boeing.

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