By Claire Valdini
Contract includes 60 Patriot missiles, 20 launching stations and four radar systems
The Pentagon plans to sell 60 Patriot missiles to Kuwait in a deal worth an estimated US$4.2bn as the Gulf state moves to bolster its defences against a potential Iranian threat.
The deal includes 60 Patriot advanced capability missiles, 20 launching stations and four radar systems and control stations as well as personnel training and training equipment, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on its website.
“Kuwait will use the PAC-3 missiles and equipment to improve its missile defence capability, strengthen its homeland defence, and deter regional threats,” DSCA said.
Congress has 30 days to raise any objections to the sale, it added.
The deal follows several weeks after US authorities said Kuwait plans to acquire US$49m worth of military equipment, including 300 air-to-surface missiles from weapons maker, Lockheed Martin.
Gulf countries are spending billions of dollars on defence procurement but have fallen short of building a joint missile shield, which Washington DC has urged as the best means of defence against any strike by Iran.
Individually they have acquired the latest versions of the defence systems as they move to protect their cities and oil installations against missile attacks.
Governments in the Middle East and North Africa are expected to spend up to US$118.2bn per year on military hardware, according to data from Al Masah Capital.
The MENA region acquired US$91bn worth of arms in 2010, with just after half (US$45.2bn) spent by Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE (US$16.1bn).