In early November, the United States Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress of a potential sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worth €1 billion ($1.13 billion) for a second Lockheed Martin Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System (THAAD). This follows an initial order for a single system placed with the United States in December last year.
Should the deal be authorised, it could see the supply of a second Raytheon AN/TPY-2 X-band air surveillance radar to the country. The AN/TPY-2 performs search, target acquisition and fire control functions for the THAAD surface-to-air missile system.
In terms of AN/TPY-2 supplies to the Middle East, Qatar is receiving a single example which is being constructed at an undisclosed location in the country to support United States Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) efforts in the region. A second radar is in service in eastern Turkey supporting the same mission which was activated in January this year, and a third AN/TPY-2 is stationed in Israel.
The deployment of the AN/TPY-2 systems comes at a time when tensions between the West and Iran over the latter country’s ballistic missile developments and clandestine nuclear weapons programme continue to escalate.