Qatar buys copters, missiles in $23b arms deals

Qatar buys copters, missiles in $23b arms deals
Sat Mar 29, 2014 09:32:11

Qatar has announced weapon deals worth $23 billion that include huge orders of helicopter gunships from both Boeing and Airbus corporations.

Amid recent acrimony with Saudi Arabia and other members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), Qatar is also purchasing weapons from other American military industry arms makers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, including Patriot missile defense systems and “other weapons.”

Although officials downplayed the significance of the massive arms purchase by the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy, it came just a day before the American president's scheduled visit to Riyadh to meet with the Saudi King, and with Saudi Arabia and Qatar harshly at odds, it’s sure to be at least mentioned during the talks.

All of the PGCC nations spend huge portions of their budgets on arms purchases, using their vast oil revenue to acquire latest weaponry despite the fact that none of the nations have any significant wars on the horizon.

Qatar, and other US-backed Persian Gulf and Middle Eastern dictatorships are looking to acquire new high-tech military equipment to protect themselves against regional and internal threats following the wave of Arab Spring uprisings in the region.

Washington has been keen to deepen its cooperation with Persian Gulf nations, which have served as long-standing US allies, on missile defense.

The US has used provocative tactics such as promoting Iranophobia as well as inciting Shia-Sunni disputes to push through its weapon sales to the region.


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