The proposed sale would double the number of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters the Gulf country currently has
DESPARDES News Monitor – The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 24 Apache helicopters and spare parts to Qatar for $3 billion.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security “by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East.”
The DSCA delivered the required certification Thursday, notifying Congress of the possible foreign military sale.
The DSCA statement said the helicopters would be used for “close air support, armed reconnaissance, and anti-tank warfare missions” and would also “provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatar peninsula”.
The sale of the helicopters must be reviewed by Congress before being finalized.
The sale contract includes appurtenances, Hellfire missiles and launchers and rockets, as well as guns, government and contractor engineering and technical and logistics support services.
Qatar is host to the U.S. Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region, including protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms.
The proposed sale of the helicopters will supplement the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s previous procurement of 24 AH-64Es.
To support the requirement, military team members and 17 contractors would be deployed to Qatar for approximately three years.
In March, Qatar received the first batch of helicopters from its first purchase of the AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
More than 2,200 Apaches have been sold to customers around the world, including Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Britain.