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Qatar to buy Patriot missiles in $11 bln deal: US officials

A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013Qatar will buy US Patriot missiles for the first time in a major arms deal worth $11 billion, officials said Monday, as Washington awaits a decision by the Gulf state on a lucrative fighter jet contract. The sale will provide Qatar with roughly 10 batteries for Patriot systems designed to knock out incoming missiles, as well as 24 Apache helicopters and 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles, the US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. Qatar was investing in missile defense systems to counter what it sees as the threat from Iran across the Gulf, as Tehran has built up its missile arsenal, officials said. The weapons deal was the biggest for the United States in 2014 and came as Qatar weighs proposals in a fighter jet competition, with US aerospace firm Boeing vying against British BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation of France.

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