Qatar and Europe’s leading munitions maker MBDA have inked a $1.11 billion U.S. deal to supply the Qatar Emiri Navy with Exocet MM40 Block-3 anti-ship missiles (AShM) as well as Aster-30 long-range and MICA-VL short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM).
Commemorating the event, Antonio Perfetti, MBDA Italia’s Managing Director stated, “The contract consolidates MBDA’s highly valued partnership with Qatar and is further proof also of the value of the solutions offered by the Company to meet its customers’ requirements.”
Comment and Analysis
This is final confirmation that Qatar’s forthcoming 3000-ton corvettes will be armed with long-range anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities. This will position these new ships as an exponentially significant capability leap compared to the Qatar Emiri Navy’s current fleet of fast attack crafts.
As discussed on Quwa before, Qatar’s general modernization plans will imbue it with superior equipment as well as greatly enhanced qualitative capabilities. For example, the country does not currently possess a sea-based AAW element, but it will be among a handful in the region to have long-range AAW once the corvettes are delivered.