Saudi Arabia eyes $155m weapons upgrade for military ships

United States has approved a foreign military sale request by Saudi Arabia to upgrade weapons systems
Saudi Arabia eyes $155m weapons upgrade for military ships
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Thu 18 Feb 2016 02:01 PM

The United States has approved a foreign military sale request by Saudi Arabia to upgrade weapons systems in a deal worth nearly $155 million.

The US State Department said in a statement that it has made a determination approving a possible sale to the Gulf kingdom for MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 kits, equipment, training, and logistics support.

Saudi Arabia has requested a sale for the upgrade and conversion of five systems which are currently installed on four Royal Saudi Naval Forces patrol chaser missile ships in their Eastern Fleet and one system located at its Naval Forces School.

"This acquisition will enhance regional stability and maritime security and support strategic objectives of the United States," the State Department said.

The statement said the proposed sale will provide Saudi Arabia with self-defence capabilities for surface combatants supporting both national and multi-national naval operations.

It said that the sale will extend the life of existing patrol chaser missile ships, adding that Saudi Arabia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence.

Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces, the statement said.

The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missiles Systems of Arizona.

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