The Government of Qatar has requested the sale of 5,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems (APKWS) II guidance sections from the US for an estimated cost of $300m.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of the possible foreign military sale (FMS) as part of the development, which has been approved by the State Department.
Qatar has proposed the purchase of 5,000 MK66-4 2.75in rocket motors, 5,000 high explosive warheads for airborne 2.75in rockets, inert MK66-4 2.75in rocket motors, and inert high explosive warheads for airborne 2.75in rockets.
The potential sale would also include support equipment, spares, training, publications, engineering technical assistance, programme management technical assistance, logistics support services, and other associated components of programme support.
A DSCA press release said that the: “Proposed sale supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.”
In a statement, the agency further stated that: “Our mutual defence interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defence.”
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BAE Systems will act as the principal contractor in connection with the sale.
Qatar intends to equip its Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters fleet with the APKWS to provide low-cost precision strike capability.
The APKWS is being procured by the Middle East nation as part of its armed forces modernisation plan. The combat-proven system is designed to transform standard 2.75in rockets into highly accurate precision munitions and help minimise the risk of collateral damage.
In 2016, the US Department of Defense awarded a $667.5m contract to Boeing for the delivery of 24 AH-64E Apache helicopters to Qatar.
The Apache aircraft are expected to be delivered to QEAF by 31 May 2020.