On March 13, Qatar signed an deal with the Turkish company BMC to purchase 50 BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles and 35 BMC Amazon 4×4 multi-purpose armored vehicles, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Head of BMC Ethem Sancak told Anadolu that the deal had been reached on the sidelines of the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2018) in the Qatari capital of Doha. Sancak didn’t provide further details about the timeframe of the deal.
Qatar News Agency (QNA) also revealed that Turkish BMC had won a bid to establish a naval special operation base for the Qatari Special Forces in the northern part of Qatar. The contract to build the naval base was reportedly signed during the DIMDEX 2018.
Commander of the Qatar Joint Special Forces Major General Hamad bin Abdullah al-Fattais al-Marri told QNA that a navel division will be permanently stationed in the base. The base will also include a training center, according to Maj. Gen al-Marri.
Anadolu Agency also reported that Qatar had signed an agreement to purchase two training warships for its navy from Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard. The news agency said that each ship will have the capacity to train 72 naval cadets.
“Qatar needs these ships to provide its naval personnel with sufficient training,” a chairman of Anadolu Shipyard told Anadolu Agency.
Additionally, Qatar signed a deal with the Turkish Baykar Makina company to purchase six Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms, three ground control station systems and equipment as well as a UAV training simulator, according to Anadolu Agency. These UAVs are set to be delivered within a year.
The news agency also revealed that under the deal Baykar Makina will set up a UAV operation center and network-based data tracing and archiving software for Qatar’s military.
According to some experts, Qatar is not only trying to strengthen its small armed forces though such deals, but also to develop relations with key players in the region. Turkey was the only country that deployed large forces in Qatar in late 2017 in response to the Saudi-led blockade on the country.