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Qatar and Russia sign defence cooperation agreement

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.


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  • by Joseph
    Posted October 26, 2017 1:19 am 0Likes

    S400 opened a lot of doors for Russia.

  • by U
    Posted October 26, 2017 5:39 am 0Likes

    I think Pakistan, specially its strategically placed ex Army Chief is playing a role in making all these Gulf States a potential customer of Russian Arms to offset any possible Indian pressure of cancelling deals with Russia if it proceeds with Arms sale to Pakistan.
    I mean the Gulf States have no problem getting their hands on Patriot PAC3, F16s, F15s, Euro Fighters, Rafaels, Frigates, Tanks, Small Arms, almost every thing an Armt needs from the West. Still they are getting close to Russia who in most cases is on the other side of the Gulf States in Geo Politics.

    Just a thought.

  • by Mike
    Posted October 26, 2017 10:34 am 0Likes

    Turkey opened a lot of doors for the S400. Everybody saw that turkey (as a western “ally”) gave a s**t and got away, despite warnings fron the US. Now everybody is confident enough to make an order. Even the Saudis.

  • by TZK
    Posted October 26, 2017 2:36 pm 0Likes

    S-400 is a defensive system so hard for USA to criticise. I suspect it was Russia’s support for Assad that convinced many to hedge their bets.

  • by EBR
    Posted October 26, 2017 10:10 pm 0Likes

    lots of money

  • by Violet
    Posted October 27, 2017 6:55 am 0Likes

    I would beg to differ. Infact i strongly disagree. The fact is, ever since US upped the geo-political and economic ante against Russia, Russia has been more aggressive in wooing and pursuing ties with some of the US’ traditional allies. Take for example South Korea, one of the closest ally of US. Recently the South Korean prime minister signed a joint roadmap for defense and economic cooperation with Russia, a significant departure from S.Korea’s stance on Russia. Therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if South Korea in the near future also comes to possess the S-400, especially given the looming threat from N.Korean missiles. A Similar approach from Russia can be seen in Middle East (Gulf countries), North Africa (Egypt) and South American (Colombia and Chile) countries. Russia is gradually appearing to make inroads everywhere.

    Secondly, thinking that Qatar, UAE and S.Arabia would spend billions of their national money just so that they can secure Pakistan’s long term defense purchases from Russia is simply too far fetched. One needs to realise that S-400 is a game changing weapon with no western (US & European) equivalent in terms of range. It gives you a significant tactical advantage which western BMD systems do not provide. If the gulf countries are so interested in propping up Pakistan’s defense then offering Pakistan defense loans at low-interest would do a world of good than buying from Russia.

  • by U
    Posted October 27, 2017 11:10 am 0Likes

    I am not saying the Gulf Countries are doing this for Pakistan, I said I think Pakistani advisors in the Gulf might be playing a role in making them buy Russian weapons. Kind of marketing for Russia.

    But I can be wrong.

  • by Violet
    Posted October 27, 2017 6:01 pm 0Likes

    The amount of money India spends in procuring defense hardware and associated equipment from Russia alone (spares, parts, ammunition etc.) is more than half of the annual defense budget of many gulf countries. Russia would not let India slip away so easily, no matter how much S.Arabia or other gulf countries tries to woo it. India by far is the biggest buyer of Russian equipment. At second is China, which is far behind, even though it has around 4 times the defense budget of India. Thinking that Russia would lose India as a market is purely a wishful thinking. No other country (or gulf countries combined) would be able to replace India easily as far as defense market for Russian weapons is concerned.That could be only possible if gulf countries completely shun US and look to Russia as their major defense supplier and India leans heavily towards Europe and America instead of Russia. There is no indication of that happening in atleast next 2-3 decades. Uncle Sam with an influential military industrial complex wouldn’t tolerate it and you might see another regime change before any gulf country dares get too close to Russia.
    Moreover, even though India has diversified its defense purchases its bilateral defense procurement from Russia has increased in the last two years. It is because the Indian defense budget has simultaneously increased and saw a 10% increment than previous year (2016). And if recent reports in Indian press are anything to go by, the bilateral defense cooperation with Russia is set to get a boost further in 2018.

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