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.
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.