Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Aviation & Defense

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-11-18

Overview

Aviation

Given Qatar Airways’ continued global growth strategy, especially with adding more direct routes to the United States (10 as of August 2020), aviation is an active industry in Qatar for U.S. suppliers.  Boeing and Gulf Stream dominate the market as a result of the nature of their aircraft offerings, but other U.S. suppliers provide information technology, ground support equipment, and similar services to Qatar Airways Group and Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways Group maintains one of the most rigorous approved vendor lists and processes in Qatar.

Defense

As Qatar manages one of the most ambitious military modernization programs in the world, the Qatar Armed Forces will continue to rely on foreign military and direct commercial sales. Major purchases since 2014 include Apache helicopters, Javelin missiles, Early Warning Radar, PAC 3 Patriot systems, and F-15 aircraft.  The Qatari military is also sponsoring an initiative to create a vast network of military training facilities and programs focused on supporting their recent defense acquisitions.

The U.S. military-strategic partnership in Qatar has made great strides since 1992.  Qatar has proven to be a reliable partner in the region and has hosted approximately ten thousand U.S. military troops and forward headquarters for U.S. Central and Air Force Central Commands at Al Udeid Air Base – the largest U.S. airbase outside the continental U.S.  The U.S. and Qatar also signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 1992, which was renewed in 2013 for an additional ten years. 

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

The 2020 budget is centered on security and defense equipment, training, and technologies needed for Qatar’s role as host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup; this focus is anticipated for the 2021-2022 budgets, as well.

Over the last decade, the most commonly bought items include anti-ballistic missile systems and a new generation of fighter aircraft.  Military electronics and cyber systems, helicopters for special forces teams, light tactical armored vehicles with weapons systems, GBU-35 bunker-buster ammunition to be used against concrete-protected nuclear facilities, guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, Apache attack helicopters, and Patriot and Javelin air defense systems are also common purchases.

Opportunities

  • Training and capacity building programs
  • Cyber Security and Electronic Warfare Systems
  • Anti-tank weapons systems
  • Integrated air and missile defense systems
  • Navy & Marine defense systems

Web Resources

Contact the Office of Military Cooperation Qatar and the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Doha.