November 20, 2013
U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co (RTN.N) said on Tuesday it hoped to finalize the sale of its Patriot air and missile defense system to Qatar “fairly quickly,” and wrap up the sale of additional Patriot fire units to Kuwait before the end of the year.
Tim Glaeser, vice president of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business, told Reuters at the Dubai Airshow that demand for the company’s Patriot and other missile defense equipment remained strong in the Gulf region.
Glaeser cited growing interest among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in developing a regional missile defense system similar to that operated by NATO, and said Raytheon was ready to help if asked.
U.S. industry executives participating in the air show say Gulf nations have not signaled any declining interest in beefing up their missile defense capabilities despite recent U.S. talks with Iran about dismantling its nuclear program.
Glaeser said Qatar was poised to become the fourth Gulf country to operate the Patriot system, joining the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Raytheon builds Patriot - a long-range, high-altitude, all-weather system - and acts as the systems integrator for the PAC-3 missile, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N).
Raytheon Chief Financial Officer Dave Wajsgras told Reuters last month he saw “tremendous opportunities” for international bookings in the fourth quarter, including large missile defense orders from Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
Raytheon officials have said in the past that the Qatar deal involves 11 fire units and is valued at around $2 billion.
Glaeser said officials from Qatar, the U.S. government and Raytheon were working to finish an agreement “as soon as all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed.”