WASHINGTON — The US has cleared a sale of more than 10,000 advanced air-to-ground munitions for Saudi Arabia, a week after key allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) raised concerns over dwindling supplies of weapons.
The contractor for the weapons will be decided by competition, according to a notice posted on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
Included in the potential sale are the following:
- One thousand (1,000) GBU-10 Paveway II laser guided bombs (LGBs).
- Two thousand, three hundred (2,300) BLU-117/MK-84 2,000 poundlb general-purpose (GP) bombs.
- Four thousand twenty (4,020) GBU-12 Paveway II LGBs.
- Eight thousand twenty (8,020) BLU-111/MK-82 500 pound general-purposeGP bombs.
- One thousand, one hundred (1,100) GBU-24 Paveway III LGBs.
- One thousand, five hundred (1,500) BLU-109 2,000 poundlb penetrator warheads.
- Four hundred (400) GBU-31(V1) KMU-556 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits.
- One thousand (1,000) GBU-31(V3) KMU-557 JDAM tail kits.
- Three thousand (3,000) GBU-38 KMU-572 JDAM tail kits.
- Two thousand (2,000) GBU-48 Enhanced Paveway II, dual-mode global positioning system (GPS)/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B computer control group (CCG) dual mode.
- Two thousand (2,000) BLU-110/MK-83 1,000 poundlb general-purposeGP bombs.
- Five hundred (500) GBU-54 KMU-572 laser JDAM tail kits, dual-mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG dual mode.
- Three hundred (300) GBU-56 KMU 556 laser JDAM tail kits, dual-mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG dual mode.
- Ten thousand two hundred (10,200) FMU-152 fuzes.
The news comes just days after the end of the Dubai Airshow, where concerns over the depletion of weapon caches among the GCC states was a major talking point — one acknowledged by US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James in public comments.
"Precision-guided munitions are pretty popular," Brown said. "So not only have we within AFCENT taken steps to make sure we have the right stocks, but we're also working with partners as we understand more about how they operate and their expenditure rates to make sure everybody has what they need and we can get the job done."
In a statement last week to Defense News, Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, said the US is "working hard to provide munitions to our partners engaged in combat operations."
"The fact is that the large demand to provide these weapons rapidly to our partners exceeds US industry's current capacity. US industry is responding, as it always does, to increase production to meet US defense needs and those of our valued partners," Grant wrote. "We are working closely with US industry weapons manufacturers to supply these munitions as quickly as possible via FMS or commercially as appropriate."
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.