Artillery: Defending The Coast Of Qatar


April 22, 2016: Qatar is spending $725 million on a coast defense system using truck mounted MM40 Block 3 Exocet and Marte-ER lightweight anti-ship missiles. The Marte (or Sea Killer) is usually launched from aircraft or helicopters and has a range of 25 kilometers. This is a 300 kg (660 pound) missile with a 70 kg (150 pound) warhead. The surface launched version uses a rocket booster to get it airborne after which the standard rocket motor takes over.

The MM40 Block 3 Exocet can be launched from subs, ships, aircraft or, in this case trucks. Block 3 entered service in 2012 and has better electronics and accuracy plus longer range (180 kilometers) than earlier versions. Exocets weigh 670 kg (1,500 pounds) and has a 165 kg (363 pound) warhead. The American Harpoon RGM-84 is similar in size and performance to the MM40.

MBDA, the manufacturer of Exocet, is supplying a customized fire control system for Qatar that will integrate existing Qatari sensors into a unified coastal defense system. MDBA will also integrate new radars and communications. All this will enable Qatar to use several hundred anti-ship missiles against any seaborne threat. Iran is the expected attacker. MDBA will harden the fire control facilities against missile and bomber attack so that the system can withstand most likely attacks. The exact number of missiles and launcher trucks has not been disclosed.

Qatar was already using MM40 and Marte mounted on aircraft and ships.


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