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Pending Congressional approval, the sales of 72 Boeing F-15QA Strike Eagles to Qatar and 40 F/A-18Es and F/A-18Fs Super Hornets to Kuwait are expected to go through, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced this week.
The Qatar and Kuwait sales could help save Boeing’s Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler line at its St. Louis, Missouri facility, which has slowed production of the aircraft to two per month. The Kuwait sale would extend the F/A-18 line through mid-2018 and combined with orders from the US Navy, Boeing would continue building two Super Hornets per month into the 2020s, Boeing officials told reporters in September.
US Air Force acquisition officials expected the fighter deals would have wrapped up two years ago, but interagency delays slowed down the process, Heidi Grant the USAF’s under-secretary of international affairs, told reporters at an Air Force Association event outside Washington this week.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2016 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Qatar for F-15QA aircraft with weapons and related support, equipment, and training. The estimated cost is $21.1 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 17, 2016.
The Government of Qatar requested to purchase seventy-two (72) F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons package; the provision for continental United States based Lead-in-Fighter-Training for the F-15QA; associated ground support; training materials; mission critical resources and maintenance support equipment; the procurement for various weapon support and test equipment spares; technical publications; personnel training; simulators and other training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program value is $21.1 billion.
This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country and strengthening our strategically important relationship. Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar's defense.