As defense contractors buckle down for sequestration here in the U.S., they're seeing a sunnier picture overseas. On Friday, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress that it is in talks with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates regarding possible weapons sales with estimated costs of $6.5 billion and $1.135 billion, including associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support.
The weapons in question -- Lockheed Martin's (NYSE:LMT) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD -- are designed to intercept and destroy medium-range and long-range ballistic missiles. They are specifically designed to work in conjunction with advanced ship-borne radar systems carried by U.S. Naval Aegis-class cruisers and destroyers.
If approved by Congress, this would be Qatar's first purchase of the THAAD system, and the UAE's second.
The agency lists Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) as principal contractors in the UAE deal, while the Qatar deal lists Lockheed Martin Space Systems as principal contractor and Raytheon as subcontractor.