The Qatar Emiri Navy on March 30 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European missile system manufacturer MBDA for the delivery of a coastal defence missile system.
According to MBDA, the MOU precedes a contract worth 2.64 billion Qatari riyals (approx. 640 million euros).
The coastal missile systems that would be provided are capable of deploying two different munitions, Exocet MM40 Block 3 and Marte ER (the Extended Range version of the Marte missile), both manufactured by MBDA.
The company said the system can work in autonomous mode with its own radar, or alternatively by data-linking to a higher level within a wider coastal surveillance network.
Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, commented: “This MoU represents the first step towards the signing of a contract for this new and innovative coastal missile system. This is a further confirmation of the trust placed by the Qatar Armed Forces in MBDA for its defence requirements.”
The Exocet MM40 Block 3 weapon system is a ship-borne version of MBDA’s Exocet family while the Marte ER is an airborne missile system derived from Marte MK2/S which is already in service with the Italian Navy on its NFH90 and AW101 helicopters.
MBDA said these coastal missile systems would allow the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces to monitor maritime coastal traffic and prevent hostile ships from reaching and threatening their territorial waters.