On Monday, the Pentagon said Qatar had requested the possible sale of two THAAD fire units, 12 launchers, 150 interceptors, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion.
The UAE, which signed an initial order for $1.96 billion of THAAD weapons systems in December, requested an additional 48 THAAD missiles, 9 launchers and other equipment valued at $1.135 billion, according to the DSCA notification.
It said the proposed sale would contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping two countries that have been and remain key forces “for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”
Raytheon Co is another key contractor on the program.
THAAD is a U.S. Army system designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with an interceptor that slams into its target.
It can accept cues from Lockheed’s Aegis weapons system, satellites and other external sensors, and works in tandem with the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 terminal air-defense missile. THAAD includes its own radar along with interceptors and communications and fire control units.
U.S. officials have said their ultimate goal is a regional shield that can be coordinated with U.S. systems, a system similar to Washington’s drive to expand missile defense to protect NATO’s European territory against ballistic missiles that could be fired by Iran.
THAAD is part of a layered missile shield being built to defend the United States and its friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight. The system is being optimized against Iran and North Korea.
(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Robert Birsel)