Worried about potential ballistic missile threats and the Israel-Hamas conflict spreading in the Middle East, Jordan has requested U.S. deployment of Patriot air defense missile systems in the country, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Hiyari, the Jordanian Army’s spokesman, told state media Sunday.
The system is expensive, and “there’s no way to provide it with local resources,” Hiyari said. “We need a strategic partner.”
The United States is Jordan’s single largest ally and provider of bilateral assistance. A U.S.-Jordan defense cooperation agreement signed in January 2021 provides unimpeded American access to certain Jordanian facilities to train Jordanian soldiers and to upgrade and maintain military equipment, according to DefenseNews.
Data from the U.S. Department of State website show that out of the total $1.65 billion U.S. bilateral assistance to Jordan in fiscal year 2021, $425 million was appropriated to State Department Foreign Military Financing funds.
The United States has also been supporting the Jordanian Border Security Program since 2009. In May 2022, the U.S. Army awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to C5ISR provider NewSat North America to provide a system-wide upgrade for the Jordanian program.
Reuters reported that U.S. Patriot missiles were deployed in Jordan in 2013 in the wake of an uprising in the kingdom’s northern neighbor, Syria.