May 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved two possible contracts with Bahrain worth more than $2.2 billion to support weapons for its F-16V aircraft fleet and Patriot missile systems.
Both sales will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States "by improving the security of a Major Non-NATO ally which is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," according to the agency.
The United States considers Bahrain a security partner in the region. "Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force plays a significant role in Bahrain's defense," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.
The Patriot missile systems deal is for $2.478 billion, and adds Bahrain to a list of 16 countries that use the system, according to Defense News. In addition to the United States, other countries in the region using the system include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Poland, Romania and Sweden are among the other militaries to most recently acquire the Patriot system.
Bahrain has requested 60 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, 36 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles with canisters, nine M903 launching stations, five antenna mast groups, three electrical power plants III, two AN/MPQ-65 radar sets and two AN/MSQ-132 engagement control stations along with communications equipment, various tools, support equipment, training, technical equipment, and engineering and logistics support services.
Lockheed-Martin is the prime contractor for the PAC-3 missile and Raytheon the prime contractor for the GEM-T missile.
In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.14 billion contract for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems for Bahrain, as well as Poland and Romania.
Also approved Friday was a possible foreign military sale to Bahrain of various weapons to support its F-16 Block 70/F-16V aircraft fleet for an estimated cost of $750 million.
The contract includes 32 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM missiles, 32 AIM-9X missiles, 20 AGM-84 Block II Harpoon missiles, 2 ATM-84L-1 Block II Harpoon missiles, 20 AGMs; 50 AGM-88B high-speed anti-radiation missiles, and various supporting equipment as well technical, engineering and logistical support.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Raytheon Missile Systems and Boeing are the principal contractors.
In June 2018, Lockheed Martin received a $1.12 billion contract from the U.S. government to produce 16 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft for the Royal Bahraini Air Force. Bahrain is the first customer to procure the F-16 Block 70, the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, according to Lockheed.