The U.S. State Department approved the estimated $215 million sale to Qatar of defense articles and services in support of the purchase of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) with related equipment and support. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) noted that this proposed sale supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping improve the security of a key partner which has been, and continues to be, a significant host and member of coalition forces in the Middle East.
The Government of Qatar has requested to buy defense articles and services from the U.S. Government in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). This proposed sale improves Qatar’s defense capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense. The NASAMS capability would provide a full range of protection from imminent hostile cruise missile, unmanned aerial vehicle, rotary wing, and fixed wing threats. Qatar will have no difficulty in absorbing this equipment.
The proposed sale includes 40 AIM 120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) missiles, eight AMRAAM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM-120C), one spare AMRAAM guidance section, one spare control section and missile containers. It also includes classified software for the Raytheon-made AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) radar, spare and repair parts, cryptographic and communication security devices, precision navigation equipment, training, and other related program support.The principal contractor and integrator will be Raytheon, which partnered with Norway’s Kongsberg to develop the medium-range networked and distributed NASAMS for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
NASAMS (National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a distributed and networked medium to long range air-defence system. It employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. It can also fire the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, AIM-9X Sidewinder and can be modified to use other weapons including indigenous missiles. A NASAMS II battery consists of up to 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each, networked with up to eight AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel high-resolution X-band 3D radars, MSP 500 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems and Fire Distribution Centres. Targets including cruise missiles, drones, helicopters and planes are automatically detected and tracked by the pencil beam radar, while the FDC automatically conducts identification, threat evaluation and weapon assignment.