The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and other defense articles and services, to Qatar in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS).
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Nov. 27.
The Government of Qatar has requested to buy defense articles and services, with an an estimated cost of $215 million, from the U.S. Government in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). The items Qatar requests include the following: 40 AIM 120C-7 AMRAAM missiles, one spare AIM 120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section, one spare AIM-120C-7 control section, eight AMRAAM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM-120C), missile containers, classified software for the AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radar, spare and repair parts, cryptographic and communication security devices, precision navigation equipment, other software, site surveys, weapons system equipment and computer software support, publications and technical documentation, common munitions and test equipment, repair and return services and equipment, personnel training and training equipment, integration support and test equipment, and U.S. Government and contractor, engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The statement from DSCA said that this proposed sale supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping improve the security of a key partner which has been, and continues to be, a significant host and member of coalition forces in the Middle East.
This proposed sale improves Qatar’s defense capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense. The NASAMS capability would provide a full range of protection from imminent hostile cruise missile, unmanned aerial vehicle, rotary wing, and fixed wing threats.
The principal contractor and integrator of the sale will be Raytheon Missiles Systems of Tucson, Arizona.
NASAMS (Norwegian/National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a distributed and networked medium to long range air-defence system developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway and Raytheon of USA.
NASAMS was the first surface-based application for the AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile). The missile itself is named SLAMRAAM (Surfaced Launched AMRAAM) and has a horizontal range of up to 25 km.
The system integrates integrates U.S.-built AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D air defense radar and AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles with a Kongsberg developed Battle management C4I system called FDC, short for Fire Distribution Center. The FDC connected to a MPQ-64 radar forms an “Acquisition Radar and Control System” (ARCS).
NASAMS is owned by seven countries and has been integrated into the U.S.’ National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., it is in service in Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands and one undisclosed country (likely Chile).