Qatar signs 3-bln euro military helicopter deal

Qatar signs 3-bln euro military helicopter deal

DOHA-Agence France-Presse
Qatar signs 3-bln euro military helicopter deal

Qatar announced on March 14 it was spending three billion euros to buy 28 military helicopters, its latest high-profile defense purchase during a bitter diplomatic rift with its Gulf neighbors.

The deal for the NH90 helicopters was announced by Qatar’s defense ministry at a military hardware conference in Doha.

Italian defense contractor Leonardo will act as the main contractor in the deal, although it was officially signed with the NHI consortium, which also includes Airbus and Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.

“We are proud to have signed this contract that expands and continues Leonardo’s strong and long-term partnership with Qatar,” said Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo’s chief executive.

He said the delivery of the helicopters should begin in 2022.

Also on March 14, Qatar announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. defense contractor Raytheon covering the area of cyber security.

Qatar has been isolated by a group of neighboring countries and former allies led by Saudi Arabia for the past nine months in a rancorous political, diplomatic and economic dispute.

Its defense minister, Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah, has said the bloc of countries opposed to Qatar has considered an invasion of the World Cup 2022 host.

Since the Gulf political crisis started, an increasingly vulnerable Qatar has spent some $30 billion (25 billion euros) on military hardware.

Among the purchases are F-15 planes from the United States, a Rafale fighter jet deal with France and another for Typhoon aircraft from the Britain.