US announces $6.7 bn arms sale to Saudi Arabia
Washington: The Pentagon announced a proposed deal Friday to sell to Saudi Arabia 20 cargo aircraft and five refuelling planes, which is worth $6.7 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), a Pentagon organ in charge of foreign arms sales, said in a statement that it notified Congress Thursday of the proposed deal to sell to Saudi Arabia 20 C-130J-30 Aircraft and 5 KC-130J Air Refuelling Aircraft, as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.
"This proposed sale of C-130J-30 and KC-130J assets will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," the DSCA said, reported Xinhua.
Saudi Arabia needs these aircraft to sustain its aging fleet, which faces increasing obsolescence, as they "will provide a modern configuration, improve reliability and enhance the Royal Saudi Air Force' s ability to effectively field, support, and employ these aircraft", the DSCA added.
It noted, at the same time, that the proposed arms sale "will not alter the basic military balance in the region."
The prime contractors will be Lockheed-Martin in Bethesda, Maryland, General Electric Aviation Systems in Sterling, Virginia, and Rolls Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana.
US Congress will have 30 days to consider the deal, which will be concluded if no objections are raised.