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Sat 21 Dec 2013 12:04 PM

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Saudi keen on $1bn US missiles deal

Gulf kingdom interested in buying thousands of missiles from United States

Saudi keen on $1bn US missiles deal
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Saudi Arabia is interested in buying thousands of missiles from the United States in a deal worth more than $1bn.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that it has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale to the Gulf kingdom for tube-launched, optically-tracked wire-guided 2A/2B radio-frequency (RF) missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.

The statement said Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of a total of more than 15,500 missiles in two deals worth $900m and $170m.

It added that the principal contractor will be Raytheon Corporation of Arizona.

"The proposed sale will support the Ministry of the National Guard’s defence and counter-terrorism missions," the Agency said.

"The sale will also improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet and defeat current and future threats from enemy armored vehicles.

"Saudi Arabia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence."

Last month, the Agency said Saudi Arabia had expressed an interest in a $1.1bn upgrade to its high-tech military systems to help its navy to provide situational awareness in the Gulf and the Red Sea.

It said it has notified Congress of the possible foreign military sale to the Gulf kingdom of C4I system upgrades and maintenance and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.