Qatar's Defense & Aerospace Sector
Total of Qatar's Defense spending in 2019
of Qatar's Defense purchases are Aircrafts
About Qatar’s Defense & Aerospace Sector
Qatar has initiated a military modernization program in which the Qatari government is focusing on increasing spending on military and defense. In 2019 Qatar spent $6.5 billion on defense, and the government is expected to expand their defense budget to $8.8 billion in 2024, which is a 5.2% annual growth rate.
Qatar is also projected to continue to be one of the quickest growing defense markets in the Middle East over the next 10 years. This is due to its underdeveloped defense sector. Between 2013-2017, Qatar bought most of its defense products from American companies, with US companies accounting for 2/3 of Qatar’s defense imports. The biggest defense purchase for Qatar was aircrafts, which accounted for over 30% of all defense purchases, followed by missile systems and armored vehicles.
Al Udeid Air Base is the largest US base in the Middle East, with over 10,000 soldiers stationed there. It is the headquarters for the US Central Command, US Air Force Central Command and the Forward Command Center for US Special Operations. Al Udeid is positioned in an advantageous location, centrally located within the Middle East, with 80% of aerial refueling in the region taking place there.
A vital step in defense spending is the $3 billion expansion ($1.8 billion already completed) of Al Udeid Air Base. This expansion will include more recreational facilities and build family compounds for more than 200 officers, which in turn will promote the enduring US presence in Qatar. Established in 2000, As Sayliyah Army Base stores reserve equipment for CENTCOM to be used in Afghanistan and Iraq. Qatar also has ambitions to expand its naval forces from 3,000 to 7,000 by 2025.
As of January 2021, Qatar has $25 billion in active US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and a predicted $40 billion in the next five years. Some of the major entities in the Qatari defense industry are Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, and Barzan Aeronautical.