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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Reuters: US poised to approve $4 billion fighter jet sales to Qatar

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Silent Eagle fighter jets
Silent Eagle fighter jets

Qatar’s purchase of 36 F-15 fighter jets from American manufacturer Boeing has cleared two key hurdles and is expected to receive White House approval, Reuters has reported.

If the deal goes through, it would be Qatar’s latest multibillion-dollar arms purchase as part of a massive military buildup that includes a significant expansion of its air force.

Qatar’s plans to increase the size of its air force fleet through the purchase of 72 new fighter jets was first reported in 2013.

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

Other deals in the works

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

Military publication Defense News previously said that Boeing’s F-15 sale had been held up after Israeli lobbyists had voiced “concerns” about the transaction.

It also reported that Boeing’s production line in the US state of Missouri could be shuttered unless Qatar’s order was approved or it received another major order.

The Reuters report comes as US President Barack Obama travels to Saudi Arabia this week in a visit some are calling an attempt to smooth over ties with the Gulf states in the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal.

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