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Qatar, UAE seek up to $7.6 billion in Lockheed air defenses

Some equipment made in Arkansas

By Bloomberg News

This article was published November 5, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates want to buy Lockheed Martin Corp. air-defense interceptors, radar, parts and support valued at as much as $7.6 billion if all options are exercised, according to the Pentagon.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress yesterday of a potential $6.5 billion sale to Qatar, location of a key U.S. regional air-operations center. It also announced a $1.13 billion sale to the United Arab Emirates for additional weapons, launchers and spare parts — its second purchase of the interceptor system known as Thaad.

The interceptors are part of the regional defense that President Barack Obama’s administration is deploying in the Middle East against Iran’s medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. Batteries of land-based interceptors would be linked with the U.S. Navy’s detection systems on Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers.

Iran’s military continues to improve the accuracy and killing power of its long- and short-range ballistic missiles, including designing a weapon to target vessels, according to a Pentagon report to Congress.

The latest UAE request is in addition to two Thaad units the nation bought from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed in December 2011, valued at about $1.96 billion. The UAE was the first international buyer of Thaad.

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, missile interceptors are produced in Troy, Alabama, and fire-control equipment and launchers are made in Camden, Arkansas.

Lockheed rose 38 cents to $94.10 yesterday at the close of New York trading and has climbed 16 percent this year.

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