Qatar is likely to buy a National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) from the US at an estimated cost of US$215 million to strengthen its defence capability to deter regional threats.
The proposal from the government of Qatar has been approved by the US State Department and is now awaiting a green signal by Congress.
“If approved the deal will see for the procurement of 40 AIM 120C-7 AMRAAM missiles, one spare missile guidance section, one spare control section and eight captive air training missiles,” according to a State Department official. “NASAMS is a medium-range, network-centric air defence system that can be deployed to identify and engage enemy aircraft, and to protect high-value assets and mass population centres against air-to-surface threats. The NASAMS capability would provide a full range of protection from imminent hostile cruise missile, unmanned aerial vehicle, rotary wing, and fixed wing threats,” the official adds.
The AIM 120C-7 is the most advanced AMRAAM approved for export beyond the USA. It features an improved seeker head, greater jamming resistance, and a slightly longer range than other versions. Other items including in the contract are missile containers, software for the AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radar, spares and other equipment and services.
The principal contractor and integrator will be Raytheon Missiles Systems of Tucson, Arizona.