Raytheon eyes $4bn arms sale to Saudi Arabia

US defence firm also in talks with UAE, Qatar and Kuwait for weapon deals
Raytheon eyes $4bn arms sale to Saudi Arabia
ARMS DEAL: The Gulf countries are spending billions to modernise their small armed forces
By Joanne Bladd
Mon 01 Nov 2010 12:14 PM

US firm Raytheon, the world’s largest missile maker, plans to deliver arms worth $4bn to Saudi Arabia as part of a wider US weapons package, and is eyeing growth in the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, a senior executive said.

In Saudi Arabia, the firm has” an upgrade to the Patriot system that is in process,” Thomas Culligan, CEO of Raytheon International, told reporters. “Hopefully we will get a contract signed on that.”

Kuwait is upgrading and buying additional units, and Qatar “is looking at” the system, Culligan said. The United Arab Emirates bought a missile-defense system at a value not exceeding $3.3bn at the end of 2008, according to a Raytheon statement on the company’s website.

The company “has other projects with Saudi Arabia,” he said, including homeland security and cyber security deals.

The US last month said it planned to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60bn in weapons including attack helicopters and Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jet. The proposed deal would be the largest to another country in US history, and would see Raytheon deliver as much as $4bn in military equipment.

Raytheon last week said that its third-quarter profit rose sharply because of cost-cutting and a favorable tax settlement, and said its estimated 2010 profit would be larger than it had expected.

The company earned $728m in the three months to September 30, 2010, up from $490m during the same period last year.

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