Persian Gulf & Middle East Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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QATAR REPORTEDLY PLANNING TO PROCURE S-400 SAM FROM RUSSIA



The Russian news agency
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reports that Qatar is in talks with Russia for the purchase of Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.

In an interview with TASS, Qatar’s Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah stated that the two countries were in “advanced negotiations” regarding the S-400.

This news follows a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU)
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by Qatar and Russia in October 2017, in which a provision was made to discuss air defence systems (without specific details).

Qatar is the third country in the Arab Gulf region expressing interest in the S-400, following
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and
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. The S-400 is emerging as Russia’s entryway into markets traditionally dominated by U.S. and European suppliers, with Turkey being the first to formally
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.

The S-400 comprises of the 40N6 (400 km), 48N6 (250 km), 9M96E2 (120 km) and 9M96E (60 km) SAMs, which collectively enable the S-400 to operate as a multi-layer air defence system. Following China, which has begun receiving its order, Turkey signed on as the second firm buyer of the S-400.

Notes & Comments:

Doha’s defence modernization roadmap is involving both the replacement of old equipment as well as an expansion – both quantitatively and qualitatively – of its capabilities.

This is most pronounced in the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) fighter procurement plans, which include 36 Dassault Rafale, 36 Boeing F-15QA and 24 Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engine multi-role fighters. Besides multiplying its present fighter fleet eight-fold (from 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5), the QEAF is constructing a fleet of clearly longer-range, higher-endurance, heavier-payload and technology more capable fighters.

Seeing the probable logistics and maintenance challenge, analysts point to Doha’s push to award lucrative deals to various industry leading vendors in major countries, such the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and – should the S-400 deal come to fruition – Russia. To what extent Qatar yields foreign relations cache from these countries is unclear, but at least in the case of the Typhoon (i.e. U.K.), the Royal Air Force would form a ‘Joint Operation Squadron’ with the QEAF. In other words, the RAF will be present in Qatar.

Nonetheless, the induction of these weapon systems will amount to a sizable boost for the Qatar Armed Forces. Granted, Doha will have to overcome supply challenges, not least the number of trained personnel necessary to effectively operate its equipment.

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Commander of Qatar Emiri Air Force visits Air Headquarters



ISLAMABAD: Major General (Pilot) Mubarak Mohammed Al-Kumait Al-Khayarin, Commander of Qatar Emiri Air Force visited Air Headquarters Islamabad on Monday. On his arrival at Air Headquarters, he was received by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, according to a statement. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the Guard of Honour.

Later on, he called on the Air Chief in his office. Both the dignitaries remained together for some time and discussed matters of professional and mutual interest. Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force lauded PAF’s role in fighting the war against terrorism. He also appreciated the sound professionalism of PAF personnel and expressed his desire to learn from its experiences.

Air Chief said that both Pakistan and Qatar enjoy cordial and brotherly relations. The Air Chief offered support and cooperation in the field of aviation and military training to Qatar Emiri Air Force. The Qatar Emiri Air Force delegation is on a three days visit to Pakistan Air Force. The delegation will visit various PAF bases and installations.


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noticed Seeking closer ties, Qatar to expand base used by US troops
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Qatar’s defense minister says his country is expanding the major military base used by the U.S. military to make it more comfortable for Americans.

Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah says Qatar has a plan to build family compounds, entertainment centers and other facilities at al-Udeid Air Base. The base hosts some 10,000 American troops and acts as U.S. Central Command’s forward operating base.

Attiyah says the expansion will also increase dormitory capacity for Americans on the base.

The move comes as Qatar seeks to cement even closer security ties to the United States, in part as a hedge against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries. Those nations have been feuding with Qatar and encouraging the U.S. to limit ties to the tiny gas-rich nation.
 

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Lockheed awarded $523M for Patriot missiles for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Romania...




"The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $523.8 million, which is a modification on a previous award contract.

The agreement will provide Patriot advanced capability-3 missile segment enhancement missiles, cost reduction initiative missiles and associate ground support equipment, the Pentagon said.

Work on the contract will occur in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas, and is expected to be completed by January 2021."

The total amount of the contract will be obligated to Lockheed Martin at the time of award from Army fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018 other procurement funds.


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Major joint Naval Exercises Naseem Al Bahr, First joint Mine Counter measures exercise (MCMEX) and Marine Forces Exercise Deraa Al Sahil between Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) has commenced at Saudi Arabian Port Al Jubail. The 11th exercise of Naseem Al Bahr series will continue till 17 Feb 18. It is the first time that these exercises are being conducted in Saudi Arabian waters. The exercises are aimed to consolidate the existing strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and Royal Saudi Naval forces. The exercises include joint conduct of maritime security operations across the traditional and nontraditional warfare domains thus enhancing interoperability between both the Navies.

Earlier Pakistan Navy flotilla comprising PN Ships ZULFIQUAR, TARIQ, AZMAT, QUWWAT and MUNSIF arrived at Saudi Arabian Port Al Jubail. PN helicopters embarked onboard PN Ships and P3C Orion Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft will also participate in these exercises. For the first time, Mine Countermeasure Exercise has also been scheduled concurrently with Exercise Naseem Al Bahr. Cdre Adnan Ahmed is the Mission Commander of Pakistan Navy ships visiting Jubail for the exercise.

Upon arrival, Pakistan Navy ships were warmly received by senior RSNF officers and ratings. On first day of exercise, various harbour evolutions including communication brief for participating units and harbour fire exercise demonstrations onboard Pakistan Navy ships were conducted to share experience with RSNF counterparts. A reception dinner in honour of visiting Pakistan Navy officers and ratings was hosted by RSNF Eastern Fleet Cdr, Rear Admiral Laafi Bin Hussain Al Harbi at RSNF Naval Base Mess. A large gathering of RSNF officers including flag officers (Commanders of Logistics, Aviation and Marines) and RSNF Base Commander also attended the reception.





 

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SAUDI ARABIA’S S-400 TALKS PROGRESS, BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN...



In an interview with
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, Russia’s Presidential Aide for Military-Technical Cooperation (MTC) said that negotiations with Saudi Arabia for the sale of Almaz-Antey S-400 air defence systems are progressing, but Riyadh’s near-term outlook for transfer-of-technology (ToT) has complicated the matter.

“With Saudi Arabia, negotiations were difficult, but the documents were signed, their parameters are known. I can not say that everything is smooth in our country … [Saudi Arabia] insists on a sudden breakthrough, implying both supplies and technology transfer,” said Presidential Aide Vladimir Kozhin.

Kozhin acknowledged that in Riyadh’s case, Moscow was willing to extend ToT for the S-400 (though it is unclear what this could entail), but Moscow prefers moving gradually, to reduce risk and complications.

“First, the supply of finished weapons, mastering and understanding it, familiarizing our specialists with the capabilities of the opposite side. This is a complex chain, so we tell the partners that we should not hurry,” said Kozhin.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly aiming to localize the sustainment/support of the S-400 through
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, a state-owned industry established in May 2017 with the aim of spearheading the country’s defence industry growth as part of Riyadh’s Vision 2030.

Under Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to
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of its defence procurement. Thus far, the contracts ostensibly supporting this goal involve co-production and commercial offsets. However, Saudi Arabia has also begun partnerships, namely with Ukraine through the latter’s
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.

Negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Russia for the S-400 began in October following a
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that could see the sale – with local manufacturing – of TOS-1A multiple rocket launch systems, AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher and Kornet-EM anti-tank guided-missiles.

Kozhin confirmed that negotiations regarding ToT of Russian small-arms for manufacturing in Saudi Arabia are also ongoing. Like the S-400, Kozhin hopes that these contracts will be inked in the “very near future.”

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