Arab News reports on the arms sale agreement signed between Saudi Arabia and the US. The deal involves aircraft of varying kinds, including helicopters likely to be used primarily for border observation. While the article mentions tensions with Iran, the first effects of the contract won’t be felt until 2014, when upgrading of F-15 aircraft currently in the Saudi inventory begins. Delivery of new equipment won’t begin until 2015. This is definitely not a response to short-term threats, perceived or real, from Iran.
Defense bolstered with $29.4bn arms deal with America
P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has boosted its defense capabilities with a $29.4 billion arms deal with the United States.
The Kingdom confirmed on Friday that it has signed the deal to purchase 84 F-15SA fighter jets.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said the deal includes 70 Apache attack helicopters, 72 Black Hawk helicopters, 36 AH-6i helicopters and 12 MD-530F helicopters as well as upgrading of 70 existing F15 jets.
“The agreement also includes munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics for several years to ensure high level of defense capabilities for the Kingdom to safeguard its people and land,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the spokesman as saying.