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Iran Press TV

Bahrain signs agreement to purchase US-built Patriot missile system

Iran Press TV

Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:05PM

Bahrain has signed an agreement to purchase an MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system from the US Army.

"This letter of offer and acceptance allows the US government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon for production of an undisclosed quantity of systems and missiles," major US defense contractor and industrial corporation Raytheon Company said in a press release on Tuesday.

The release said the Patriot missile system will ensure that Bahrain is well equipped to defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and manned and unmanned aircraft.

On May 4, the US State Department approved a possible $6 billion worth of weapons sales to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in three separate packages.

The Manama regime was given the nod to potentially buy various Patriot missile systems and related support and equipment for an estimated cost of $2.48 billion.

The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom was also allowed to acquire various weapons to support its F-16 Block 70/F-16V aircraft fleet for an estimated cost of $750 million.

That package included 32 AIM-9X missiles, 20 AGM-84 Block II Harpoon missiles and 100 GBU-39s which are 250-pound small diameter bombs and other munitions.

Bahrain is home to US Navy's 5th fleet, which not only backs up the regime's survival militarily but also serves as a key base for Washington's interests in the region.

Back on September 29, 2018, the US State Department endorsed the proposed sale of more than 800 tactical missiles to Bahrain amid the Al Khalifah regime's heavy-handed crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners and political dissidents in the country.

The approval included Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary Rocket Pods and Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) Unitary missiles for an estimated cost of $300 million, the Arabic-language al-Khaleej al-Jadeed news website reported.

The report added that the Manama regime has requested to buy 120 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31 Unitary Rocket Pods (six rockets per pod for a total of 720), and 110 Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) M57 T2K Unitary missiles.

Personnel training, software development, contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services in addition to other related elements of logistical and program support are also among the items included in the deal.

The M31 GMLRS is a low-cost guided rocket for use on the M270 multiple launch rocket artillery systems.

It can hit targets accurately with less chance of collateral damage as it utilizes global positioning system (GPS) technology for accuracy.

The ATACMS T2K is an all-weather, long-range unitary surface-to-surface guided missile. It is reported to have a range of up to about 300 kilometers.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain's parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.

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