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France says Qatar to buy 22 military helicopters

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NH90 military helicopter. Photo: NHIndustries

PARIS (AFP): Qatar will buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from European aerospace group Airbus worth nearly USD 2.8 billion, the French defence ministry has said.

It said 12 of these would be transport helicopters and the other 10 would be the frigate version. Qatar will also acquire two Airbus-made refuelling tankers.

The decision was conveyed to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian by Qatari officials.

Last week, Le Drian had taken his Qatari counterpart General Khaled Al Attiyah to Brest in northwestern France to show him the NH90 chopper.

Le Drian is currently in the Qatar capital for the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition.

The NH90 was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter that was also capable of being operational at sea.

It can fly at nearly 300 km/h and deliveries have been made already to Australia, Germany, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Oman, Sweden and Greece.

The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. Orders have been placed by Australia, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

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