A day after a White House visit from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the State Department has approved a three arms sales, worth more than $1 billion dollars. The deals include 6,000 Raytheon TOW-2 anti-tank missiles worth $670 million, $106 million in helicopter support and $300 million worth of vehicle parts.
The sale is not yet final, and the price will likely change before it is finalized. It also must be approved by Congress.
Under President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia has bought billions in American weapons systems, including the THAAD missile defense system, C-130 airlifters, modified littoral combat ships, CH-47 helicopters and more.
In an Oval Office photo op this week, Trump touted the deals already announced with Saudi Arabia, even holding up a large sign.
According to the notices posted, the sales include 6,600 Raytheon TOW-2B missiles, 96 validation variants, spares, training, U.S. government support, and technical manuals. They also include technical support for Saudi Arabian AH-64 Apaches, UH-60 Blackhawks, Schweizer 333s and Bell 406CSs. In addition, the State Department approved spare parts for Saudi M1A2 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradleys, Humvees, and M198 howitzers. There were no offsets listed in the notices.
Saudi Arabia has faced pressure in recent weeks, as a Senate bill to extract the U.S. military from providing support in the ongoing Saudi-Yemen war.
In addition, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Thursday that Saudi Arabia was “part of the solution” in Yemen during a Pentagon photo op with the crown prince.
Again, all three deals must still be approved by Congress, and the dollar amounts will likely change before becoming final.
Jeff Martin is the Associate Editor for Multimedia and the host & producer of Defense News Weekly, airing online and on American Forces Network worldwide. In his role as Associate Editor, he reports worldwide on the military and defense industry and leads a market-leading multimedia team.