US approves $1.37b sale of counter-drone systems to Qatar

Nations are scrambling to acquire anti-drone systems as the war in Ukraine highlights threats from unmanned aircraft. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON – The US government on Tuesday announced the approval of a US$1 billion (S$1.37 billion) sale of FS-LIDS counter-drone systems and other equipment to Qatar.

“The proposed sale will improve Qatar’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing electronic and kinetic defeat capabilities against Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

“The total estimated program cost is US$1 billion. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country,” it added.

The announcement on the sale of the systems comes after repeated drone attacks claimed by Teheran-backed Huthi rebels elsewhere in the Gulf region, and as Russian drone strikes against Ukrainian cities further highlight the threat posed by unmanned aircraft.

The State Department approved the possible sale, and the DSCA on Tuesday provided the required notification to Congress, which still needs to sign off on the transaction. AFP

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