The U.S. and Qatar have signed an arms deal that is the largest of 2014, which is just over $11 billion, and will help enhance the military capabilities of Qatar with Apache assault helicopters, Javelin anti-tank missiles and PAC-2 missile defense units.
The deal was signed Monday at the Pentagon by Chuck Hagel the U.S. Secretary of Defense and Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah the Defense Minister of Qatar.
In all Qatar will buy 10 batteries of Patriot defense systems as well as 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles, which have been manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon two U.S. giants in the defense industry.
In addition, the 24 Apache copters were made by Boeing, said an official from the Pentagon who requested anonymity.
Just the Patriot complexes are more than $7 billion, with the Apache copters and their related gear costing more than $3 billion. The anti-tank missiles were $100 million.
Qatar is a key ally for the U.S. in the region of the Persian Gulf and the U.S. has the Air Base Al-Udeid located there, with its headquarters for U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Air Force Command.
In December of last year, Qatar and the U.S. signed an agreement for defense cooperation for 10 years, which ensures American troops presence at area military installations, including at the Al Udeid base and closer relations between Qatar and American armed forces.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel and the Defense Minister al-Attiyah from Qatar signed that 10-year cooperation agreement.
Pentagon officials claim the new Qatar order will add more than 54,000 jobs in the United States.
It has been the U.S. priority recently to improve the air defenses of its allies within the region of the Persian Gulf.
Qatar has invested in its missile defense systems due to the missile arsenal held by Iran on the opposite side of the Persian Gulf. Tehran said one U.S. official has multiple missile systems capable of making it to Qatar if there were a regional conflict.
Authorities in Qatar have acted as intermediaries when setting up negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan and American governments, after the Taliban opened an office last summer in Doha.