Qatar and Russia have signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) calling for increased military and technical cooperation.
The MoU was signed by Qatar’s Minister of State for Defence Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah and his Russian counterpart Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu in Doha on Wednesday, October 25.
According to the Gulf Times, the MoU paves the way for the supply of armaments, including air defence systems. Additional specifics were not provided.
In 2017 the Russian defence industry has been making major inroads in the Arab Gulf and Middle East. Its most notable commercial success has been the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf long-range air defence system, which has been ordered by Turkey and is now drawing active interest from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Qatar has charted a significant modernization roadmap for its armed forces. Of note are Doha’s plans for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), which has 24 Dassault Rafale and 36 Boeing F-15QA fighters on order.
In September, Qatar also signed a letter-of-intent with BAE Systems for 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters and six Hawk trainer aircraft.
For Qatar, it is worth noting that it is forging a diverse arms supplier pool. Besides securing combat aircraft from three major suppliers (i.e. the U.S., France and the U.K), it has ordered land and naval systems from Germany and Italy, respectively.