Bahrain has signed a letter of offer and acceptance agreement to purchase Patriot air and missile defence systems from the US Army.

The agreement allows the US Government to start contract negotiations with Patriot system manufacturer Raytheon for the production of the systems and missiles.

The quantity of the systems has not been revealed.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems president Ralph Acaba said: “Raytheon’s Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System will ensure the Kingdom of Bahrain is well equipped to defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and manned and unmanned aircraft.

“Patriot is continually modernised, enhanced and upgraded, through this 17-nation community, to ensure it outpaces the evolving threats for years to come.”

In May this year, the US State Department cleared a potential foreign military sale to Bahrain of Patriot missile systems with associated support and equipment in a deal worth around $2.478bn.

The possible sale includes 60 Patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) missile segment enhancement (MSE) missiles, 36 Patriot MIM-104E guidance enhanced missiles (GEM-T) missiles with canisters.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated that the sale will ‘enhance Bahrain’s interoperability with the US’ and improve security.

The purchase of Patriot will allow Bahrain to improve its ‘missile defence capability, defend its territorial integrity, and deter regional threats’.

Lockheed-Martin is the prime contractor for the PAC-3 Missile, while Raytheon is the prime contractor for the GEM-T missile.

There are a total of 17 Patriot nations, including the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea, UAE, Qatar and Sweden.

Last month, Raytheon won a contract from Qatar to supply its Patriot weapons systems.