Amid regional instability, an arms race is under way among Arab Gulf countries. The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait – have spent billions of dollars on weapons this year alone.
Here’s a look at the recent deals made.
So far in 2018, Saudi Arabia has allocated over $3bn to arms deals.
Spain: On April 12, Spain and Saudi Arabia signed a framework agreement to sell the Gulf Arab state warships under a deal estimated to be worth around $2.2bn.
- Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia will sell five small warships to the kingdom. The deal will include the Spanish army training military personnel in Saudi Arabia and building a naval construction centre there.
UK: On March 9, a memorandum of intent was signed between both countries aiming to finalise discussions for the purchase of 49 Typhoon aircraft.
US: On April 8, the state department approved a possible sale of $1.31bn of self-propelled Howitzer systems and conversion equipment to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon reported.
US: On March 22, the state department said 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.
US: On the same date, the state department approved a possible sale of $300m in military spare parts and a $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.
US: On January 18, the US government approved a $500m sale of missile system support services to Saudi Arabia.
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 Operations Center at an estimated cost of $197m.
US: On March 9, the US approved a possible military sale to Qatar of Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems II guidance sections at an estimated cost of $300m.
So far in 2018, Kuwait has allocated over $300m to arms deals.
US: On February 21, the state department approved a possible foreign military sale to Kuwait of King Air 350ER Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft at an estimated cost of $259m.
US: On February 20, the state department approved a possible sale of patrol boats at an estimated cost of $100m.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates has allocated more than $200m for arms purchases in 2018.
- US: On March 8, the US approved the possible sale to the UAE of 300 AIM-Sidewinder Block II missiles, 40 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles and 30 tactical guidance units at an estimated cost of $270.4m.
Oman has allocated more than $60m for buying weapons in 2018.
US: On January 5, Oman requested items and services to support an incremental Operational Flight Profile (OFP) software upgrade for its F-16 fleet, as well as an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) suveillance system and secure communications equipment at an estimated cost of $62m.
Bahrain has not reported any arms purchases yet in 2018.