Air forces of United Kingdom and Qatar conduct a military drill in Doha on November 30, 2017 [Defence Ministry of Qatar – Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]
Amid the regional instability, an arms race is under way in among Arab Gulf countries. The GCC members – Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait – have spent millions of dollars in new agreements.
We take a look at the recent deals made by each of the countries.
So far, in 2018, Saudi Arabia has allocated over $3bn to arms deals.
- Spain: On April 12, it was reported that Spain and Saudi Arabia are due to finalise a $2bn arms deal for the purchase of warships a Spanish defence ministry said.
Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia would sell five small warships to the kingdom, and the deal would include the Spanish army training military personnel in Saudi Arabia and building a naval construction centre there.
- US: On April 8 the state department approved a possible sale of $1.31bn foreign military sale of self-propelled Howitzer systems and conversion equipment to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon reported.
On March 22, the State Department said that it had approved a possible sale of an estimated $670m in anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia, just hours after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Pentagon leaders.
On the same date the state department approved a possible sale of $300m spare parts of military, and $106.8m contract for helicopter maintenance.
“This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by improving the security of a friendly country,” the statement read.
On January 18, the US government approved a $500m sale to Saudi Arabia in Missile System Support Service.
- UK: On March 9, a memorandum of intent was signed between both countries aiming to finalise discussions for a purchase of 49 Typhoon Aaircraft.
Qatar has allocated over $490m to arms deals in 2018.
- US: On March 8, the US government approved a possible sale to Qatar of equipment and support to upgrade the Qatari Emiri Air Force’s Air Operation Center for an estimated cost of $197m.
- On March 9, the US approved a possible military sale to Qatar of Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) II Guidance Sections for an estimated cost of $300m.
So far in 2018, Kuwait has allocated over $300m to arms deals.
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates has allocated more than $200m for arms purchase in 2018.
- US: On March 8, the US approved the possible sale to UAE of 300 AIM-Sidewinder Block II missiles, forty AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles, 30 Tactical guidance units for an estimated cost of $270.4m.
Oman has allocated more than $60m for buying weapons in 2018.
US: On January 5, 2018 Oman requested a possible sale of items and services to support an incremental Operational Flight Profile, as well as Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) and secure communications equipment for an estimated cost of $62m.
- US: Bahrain did not report any purchase in 2018 from the US.