Qatar Acquires Ballistic Missiles from China

Two SY-400 missile carriers and two loaders were on display.
Two SY-400 missile loaders were also displayed.

Qatar is fielding a short-range ballistic missile with a range of 480 km, an act that further expands the country’s reach and deterrence amidst raw with neighboring UAE and Saudi Arabia. The first units of SY-400 missile, to be displayed on the national parade, was seen publicly for the first time during the rehearsals yesterday.

The SY-400 is a short-range, precision-attack ballistic missile introduced in China in 2008, as an export-oriented alternative to the Russian Iskander-E. The SY-400 system has eight containers carrying ballistic missiles propelled by solid fuel. The missiles have a maximum range of 400 km. They are preloaded with a number of warheads and are launched vertically from their sealed containers.

The SY-400 system seen in Qatar is configured with two pods containing the heavier DF-12A missiles (formerly known as M20), a downgraded export version of the DF-12 ballistic missile, used by the Chinese military. The exportable missile carries a warhead weighing 480 kg to a distance of 280 km to meet the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) rules. The missile carrier can be configured flexibly to carry four SY-400 missiles in one pod, and a single BP-12A on the other. The SY-400 is mounted on a Wanshan 8×8 carrier-launcher vehicle, supported by a reloading vehicle of a similar type, fitted with a crane and missile containers.

The German Leopard 2A7 tank was also on display at Qatar’s National Day. Photo via Twitter, Abdulmois

Other equipment displayed in the rolling parade was the German-made Leopard 2 A7 main battle tanks and SPH2000 self-propelled guns. (In the past tanks paraded on their transporters, but this year 14 were rolling on tracks along the Corniche. Qatar bought 62 Leopards and 24 Self-Propelled Guns from Germany. The Emiri has also ordered 490 VBCI 8×8 armored vehicles from France.

Another Qatari acquisition is hundreds of armored vehicles from Turkey.  The Turkish-made Edjer Yalcin armored vehicles will take part in the parade for the first time. The acquisition of hundreds of armored vehicles from Turkey is part of a larger defense export package signed between the two countries. Within the scope of the contract, approximately 400 Ejder Yalçın 4×4 armored combat vehicles produced by Nurol Makina Sanayi (NMS), and are equipped with Aselsan’s SARP-DUAL remotely controlled weapon stations. The deal with Turkey also includes the delivery of more than a hundred NMS 4×4 light armored vehicles that carry guided missiles or man-portable short-range air defense missiles.

Ejder Yalçin vehicles (leading) are armed with the Stabilised Advanced Remote Weapon Platform (SARP) Dual, sourced from Turkish company Aselsan. This comprises a .50 cal machine gun, a second 7.62mm machine gun and advanced optics. The NMS 4×4 vehicles (on the left side) on display were spotted with the IGLA launching system for short-range air defense, and an anti-tank launching system, both also supplied by Aselsan. Photo: Twitter, Grant Turnbull, Shephard