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US approves $1B sale of counter-drone systems to Qatar

  • 30 Nov 2022

The sale covers 10 small unmanned aircraft systems, including a fleet of 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors to be provided to Doha.

The US says that the purchase will boost Qatar's capability to meet current and future threats. ( AP )

The US government has announced the approval of a $1 billion sale of counter-drone systems and other military equipment to Qatar.

"The proposed sale will improve Qatar's capability to meet current and future threats by providing electronic and kinetic defeat capabilities against Unmanned Aircraft Systems," the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on late Tuesday.

Qatar has requested to buy ten small unmanned aircraft systems, including a fleet of 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors.

Other Coyote launchers and counter unmanned warfare systems, as well as specialised cameras were also included in the list, the statement said.

DSCA said Congress has been notified of the possible sale.

The announcement on the sale of the systems comes after repeated drone attacks claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels elsewhere in the Gulf region, and as Russian drone strikes against Ukrainian cities further highlight the threat posed by unmanned aircraft.

Qatar enjoys friendly relations with Iran, and shares joint gas explorations with its Gulf neighbour, but it also hosts US military forces and bases.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the statement said.

The rollout of the system and training of the personnel will take at least five years, with US contractors assigned to train personnel Doha.

The State Department approved the possible sale, and the DSCA on Tuesday provided the required notification to Congress, which still needs to sign off on the transaction.

READ MORE: Europe's demand for US drones, missiles surges after Ukraine conflict

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