The Russian news agency TASS reports that Qatar is in talks with Russia for the purchase of Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.
In an interview with TASS, Qatar’s Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah stated that the two countries were in “advanced negotiations” regarding the S-400.
This news follows a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) signed by Qatar and Russia in October 2017, in which a provision was made to discuss air defence systems (without specific details).
Qatar is the third country in the Arab Gulf region expressing interest in the S-400, following Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The S-400 is emerging as Russia’s entryway into markets traditionally dominated by U.S. and European suppliers, with Turkey being the first to formally ink a contract.
The S-400 comprises of the 40N6 (400 km), 48N6 (250 km), 9M96E2 (120 km) and 9M96E (60 km) SAMs, which collectively enable the S-400 to operate as a multi-layer air defence system. Following China, which has begun receiving its order, Turkey signed on as the second firm buyer of the S-400.
Notes & Comments:
Doha’s defence modernization roadmap is involving both the replacement of old equipment as well as an expansion – both quantitatively and qualitatively – of its capabilities.
This is most pronounced in the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) fighter procurement plans, which include 36 Dassault Rafale, 36 Boeing F-15QA and 24 Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engine multi-role fighters. Besides multiplying its present fighter fleet eight-fold (from 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5), the QEAF is constructing a fleet of clearly longer-range, higher-endurance, heavier-payload and technology more capable fighters.
Seeing the probable logistics and maintenance challenge, analysts point to Doha’s push to award lucrative deals to various industry leading vendors in major countries, such the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and – should the S-400 deal come to fruition – Russia. To what extent Qatar yields foreign relations cache from these countries is unclear, but at least in the case of the Typhoon (i.e. U.K.), the Royal Air Force would form a ‘Joint Operation Squadron’ with the QEAF. In other words, the RAF will be present in Qatar.
Nonetheless, the induction of these weapon systems will amount to a sizable boost for the Qatar Armed Forces. Granted, Doha will have to overcome supply challenges, not least the number of trained personnel necessary to effectively operate its equipment.
Qatar continues its shopping spree for more n more defence systems.Looks like more money then sence.signing for 36 Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle combat aircraft on the 22nd of December was the latest in series of fighter procurements that appear to fly in the face of operational logic, as the Gulf state looks set to replace just 12 ageing Dassault Mirage 2000s with upwards of 96 of the latest multirole combat aircraft spread across three different but highly similar types.
The Arabs never change. Qatar is trying to buy Western protection, like Libya and Iraq tried in the 90’s and 2000’s. Look where it got them.
The Gulf states appear to be both politically and economically vulnerable to the changing global energy market with less reliance on hydrocarbons and along with that comes the unreliability of their traditional allies in the west. Without the oil money it is possible small states will become unviable and get taken over by larger ones but the long term answer seems to be a peaceful union of all the gulf states.
Arabs have been remarkably resistant to any change in the status quo given to them by the British after the Ottoman Empire collapsed. Look at the map, it’s full of straight lines drawn in Whitehall. They want to be absolute rulers even of mini states, and enjoy unreal luxuries for generations, paid for by money that should belong to the people, but is used as if it is personal wealth.
The s400 is a sensible acquisition as it will enable them to protect strategic installations against air and missile attacks. They should have asked for F35 instead of F15 which although a highly capable aircraft is not 5th generation. With all the SAM batteries in the region any none stealth aircraft will be lit up as soon as it takes off.
The gulf being artificially constructed out of the debris of Ottoman empire will never came out of traditional bedouin psyche of purchasing protection from the West. Whichever camp they come from, whatever their agenda but in the end they crash in the feet of their founders-west.
qatar seems to be on shopping spree, from typhoons to s-400, more money than sense.