U.S., Qatar Sign Letters on $11 Billion in Helicopters, Defense Systems
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs His Excellency Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah at the Pentagon July 14 to sign letters of offer and acceptance for Apache helicopters and Patriot and Javelin defense systems valued at $11 billion dollars.

"Today's signing ceremony underscores the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the area of security and defense and will help improve our bilateral cooperation across a range of military operations," said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby

Secretary Hagel also used the meeting to express his appreciation for the support that Qatar provides U.S. forces in the country. Today's visit followed Secretary Hagel's visit to Doha last fall, where he met with Minister Attiyah to sign and renew the U.S. - Qatar Defense Cooperation Agreement.

"This is a critically important relationship in the region," said Kirby. "And the secretary is pleased to be able to continue to make it stronger."

The official signed letters of offer and acceptance allow Qatar to buy these items through the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), which executes FMS for the Army, will oversee the life-cycle of the cases.

Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, USASAC's Commanding General, who attended the signing ceremony said, "Today's event was the result of years of working with our Qatari partners to ensure they have the capabilities they need, particularly in missile defense, and helps us shape the environment.

"Their choice of systems in also a huge compliment to Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, and its defense industries as all the systems selected by Qatar have ties to this area."

The agreements with Qatar are the largest FMS purchases for a single country this year.

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