Thursday, October 21, 2010

US To Sell $60B In Advanced Arms To Saudi - Politics News Story - WSOC Charlotte

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. (2002 photo)Image via Wikipedia
The Obama administration notified Congress on Wednesday that it plans to sell up to $60 billion in advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia in one of the largest-ever single U.S. arms sales, a deal intended to counter the rising influence of Iran.
State Department and Pentagon officials told lawmakers that the sales that will include 84 new F-15 fighter jets, upgrades to 70 existing Saudi F-15s, 190 helicopters and a wide array of missiles, bombs and delivery systems, as well as accessories such as night-vision goggles and radar warning systems. The sale, first revealed in September, has been in the works for months and is designed to strengthen the defense forces of Saudi Arabia, a longtime U.S. ally, and counter Iran as a regional power in the Persian Gulf. "This proposed sale has tremendous significance from a strategic regional perspective," said Andrew Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs who announced the deal. "It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East," Shapiro told reporters. "And it will enhance Saudi Arabia's ability to deter and defend against threats to its borders and to its oil infrastructure, which is critical to our economic interests."
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