The U.S. has cleared the sale of up to $7.6 billion in missile-defense systems to Qatar and the UAE, Reuters reported today. The Persian Gulf countries had requested the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THADD) systems. (Reuters, 6 November)
Under the agreement announced by the Pentagon on Monday, Qatar will receive two THAAD fire units, 12 launchers, 150 interceptors, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion. The UAE will receive 48 THAAD missiles, 9 launchers and other equipment valued at $1.135 billion in addition to an initial order for $1.96 billion of THAAD weapons systems signed in December.
THAAD is a U.S. Army system designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with an interceptor that slams into its target. It can accept cues from Lockheed's Aegis weapons system, satellites and other external sensors, and works in tandem with the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 terminal air-defense missile. THAAD includes its own radar along with interceptors and communications and fire control units. (Reuters)
The sale will deepen Washington’s cooperation with Persian Gulf nations on missile defense and increase pressure on Iran.
Photo credit: The THAAD weapon system (Lockheed Martin/army-technology.com)