Qatar requests Block III Apaches
Qatar is considering the purchase of 24 AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow attack helicopters, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) revealed on 12 July.
The DSCA notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of the 24 aircraft plus associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support, for a total cost of some £3 billion.
Included in the request are the M-TADS/PNVS systems, the Common Missile Warning System, 30mm automatic chain guns, NVGs, Hydra rockets and 576 AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles.
The DSCA noted that Qatar is host to the US Central Command forces and serves as a ‘critical forward-deployed location in the region’.
‘The acquisition of these helicopters will allow for integration with US forces for training exercises, which contributes to regional security and interoperability,’ the organisation said in a statement.
‘The proposed sale of the AH-64D Apache helicopters will allow the Qatari Armed Forces to replace its aging airframes with multi-mission attack helicopters, capable of meeting its requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions.’
To support the requirement a team of 12 personnel (one military team leader and 11 contractors) would be deployed to Qatar for approximately three years.
In a separate request, the Qatari government is also looking to purchase 700 AGM-114K3A or AGM-114R3 Hellfire missiles for a cost of some $137 million.
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