United States Saudi Arabia Arms Deal


The US-Saudi arms deal was a massive arms deal between the world's largest arms supplier i.e the United States and the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which took place in the year 2010 a deal that was described as "The Largest US Arms Sale Ever".

Saudi F-15 Jet Fighters
It was for the sale of 262 advanced american made jet fighters and helicopters worth US$ 60 billion to Saudi. The military aircraft agreed to be supplied in the deal were:
  •  84 new Boeing F-15 fighter jets and upgrading of 70 existing Saudi F-15s
  •  70 Boeing Apache attack helicopters
  •  36 Boeing AH-6M Little Bird light weight helicopters often used in special operations
  •  72 Black Hawk helicopters built by Sikorsky Aircraft
Saudi Apache Attack Helicopter
This billion dollar arms deal was designed to stretch out over a period of between 10 - 20 years depending on production schedules, training and infrastructure improvements and on the following year 2011, Saudi Arabia paid its first installment of US$ 30 billion to buy half of the goods agreed in the deal.

Saudi Black Hawk Helicopter
Negotiations between both countries also took place for a second arms deal worth $30 billion dollars for the upgrade and expansion of Saudi Arabia's Naval Force and Missile Defenses. The second deal was to include:
  • The sale of littoral combat ships which are small surface vessels intended for operations close to the shore 
  • The sale of Terminal High Altitude Defense - THAAD ballistic-missile defense system built by Lockheed Martin which shoots down short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles both inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere
  • The upgrade of existing Saudi's Patriot Missiles which counter the threat of rockets
THAAD Missile Launch
Saudi Arabia has been on an ambitious military expansion and upgrade of her armed forces because of rivalry and the threat of war she has with Iran. Though both Saudi Arabia and Iran are Muslim nations, relations between the two countries have been strained over different geo-political issues such as the interpretations of Islam, aspirations of leadership of the Islamic world, oil export policy, relations with the USA and the West. Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni Islamic Kingdom with close ties to the United States and United Kingdom while Iran is a Shia Islamic Republic which is anti-Western. Iran loathes Saudi Arabia because of her close ties with the West and may one day decide to launch an attack on Saudi. Iran too has been building up on her military strength and its being said that of late she has been developing nuclear weapons secretly.

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