US State Department approves sale of $300 million tactical missiles to Bahrain
The US State Department has endorsed the proposed sale of more than 800 tactical missiles to Bahrain amid the Al Khalifah regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners and political dissidents in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
Publish date : Sunday 30 September 2018 15:43
The approval includes Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary Rocket Pods and Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) Unitary missiles for an estimated cost of $300 million, the Arabic-language al-Khaleej al-Jadeed news website reported.
The report added that the Manama regime has requested to buy 120 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31 Unitary Rocket Pods (six rockets per pod for a total of 720), and 110 Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) M57 T2K Unitary missiles.
Personnel training, software development, contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services in addition to other related elements of logistical and program support are also among the items included in the deal.
The M31 GMLRS is a low-cost guided rocket for use on the M270 multiple launch rocket artillery systems.
It can hit targets accurately with less chance of collateral damage as it utilizes global positioning system (GPS) technology for accuracy.
The ATACMS T2K is an all-weather, long-range unitary surface-to-surface guided missile. It is reported to have a range of up to about 300 kilometers.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.