November 13, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Bahrain has signed a contract with the United States to purchase a number of sophisticated air-to-air missiles.
Tthe Advanced Medium Range (AMRAAM
) missiles would be deployed on the emirate's F-16 fighters. Bahrain
is the first Gulf Arab country to own these advanced missiles.
It hasn't been specified how many missiles Bahrain has bought but the United States said in March that it had offered to sell 26 AMRAAM missiles along with associated equipment and training to Bahrain for $110 million.
Defense Secretary William Cohen, in a visit to Riyadh in March, also promised to sell the missiles to Saudi Arabia. The AIM-120B Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles are built by Raytheon Co and have a range of more than 50 miles (80 km).