Qatar is seeking to buy 24 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters and associated equipment, as well as over a thousand Hellfire missiles.
The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on July 10 notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Qatar for 24 AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow Attack Helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of US$3.0 billion.
The request includes an extensive weapons package, including 576 AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles, 295 FIM-92H Stinger Block I missiles and 4 092 2.75 inch Hydra Rockets. On July 10 the DSCA notified Congress of another possible Foreign Military Sale to Qatar, for 700 AGM-114K3A or AGM-114R3 Hellfire missiles, worth an estimated US$137 million.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East,” the DSCA said. “Qatar is host to the U.S. Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region. The acquisition of these helicopters will allow for integration with U.S. forces for training exercises, which contributes to regional security and interoperability.”
“The proposed sale of the AH-64D APACHE helicopters will allow the Qatari Armed Forces (QAF) to replace its aging airframes with multi-mission attack helicopters, capable of meeting its requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions. The helicopters will provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatari peninsula as well as enhance the protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms which are vital to U.S. and western economic interests,” the DSCA noted.