Qatar: German KF41 Lynx IFV tracked armored seen at military parade

On December 18, 2018, the National Day parade of Qatar’s armed forces took place in Doha, the capital of Qatar. " During this military parade, Qatar armed forces showed new combat equipment as the German KF41 Lynx IFV and Ukrainian Stugna anti-tank missile mounted on Turkish Ejder Yalcin 4x4 armored.  

KF41 Lynx ICV seen at military parade in Qatar
A brand new KF41 Lynk ICV took part to the National Day parade 2018 in Doha, Qatar. (Picture source: bmpd.livejournal)

The small country celebrated the anniversary of the ascension to the throne in 1878 by Sheikh Jasim bin Muhammad Al Thani, considered as the founder of modern Qatar. To celebrate the National Day after 18 months of breaking off relations with neighboring Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the emirate chose the slogan "Qatar will remain free

Among the new armored vehicles and weapons that were first demonstrated at the parade, one could notice the presence of a single German KF41 Lynx IFV. One can assume that a so-far unknown number of these Lynx will be purchased and this demonstration was a “teaser”. The KF41 is an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) in the Lynx family of tracked armored vehicle designed, developed and manufactured by the German Company Rheinmetall Defence. This vehicle is longer than the KF31 IFV unveiled in September 2016. It also has a more powerful engine and weighs 10 more tons than the KF31.

Another new armament displayed was “Stugna” anti-tank missiles manufactured by the Ukrainian GKKB “Luch” company and mounted on Turkish company Aselsan's Ejder Yalçin armored vehicle.

Since 2015, Qatar has dincreased its spend on military imports and continues to modernize its armed forces. The Middle East dominated global defence imports in the 2007-16 period, with Saudi Arabia the world’s biggest defence importer, the same position it held in the 2006-15 period. Qatar, which entered the Top Ten for the first time in 2015 (ranked 6th), is now ranked 3rd, with significant imports from the USA, Germany, Switzerland and France.

According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) report, All Arab States of the Gulf except Bahrain increased their major arms imports between 2007–11 and 2012–16. Of the states with tense relations with Iran, Qatar has increased arms imports by 245%, Saudi Arabia by 212%, Kuwait by 175%, and UAE by 63%. Bahrain decreased its arms imports by 19%. Iranian arms imports decreased by 27%.

Recently, The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Qatar of defense articles and services in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) for an estimated cost of $215 million.

Over the last 20 years, Qatar has spent massively on advanced military systems and infrastructure, but sometimes beyond the operational capacity of the national forces.

KF41 Lynx ICV seen at military parade in Qatar 2
Stugna antitank missiles on Ejder Yalçin armored vehicle at the National Day parade 2018 in Doha (Picture source: bmpd.livejournal)