By Andy Sambidge
US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale of AWACS early warning systems
The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia for an AWACS modernisation programme and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support with an estimated cost of $2 billion.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that it delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale earlier this month.
In a statement, the agency said Saudi Arabia has requested a sale of five airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) plus other mission planning systems, and training and support packages.
The upgrades are a continuation of efforts to maintain inter-operability with US and coalition forces, the statement said.
The Royal Saudi Air Force’s AWACS fleet provides early warning of potential airborne threats to Saudi Arabia and manages friendly airborne assets.
"The sale of this equipment and support will enhance the RSAF’s ability to effectively field, support, and employ this aircraft for the foreseeable future," the statement said.
The statement added: "The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and the national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability in the Middle East."
The principal contractor will be The Boeing Company.
With all due respect, perhaps the Saudis could signal their friendly intent with a 20% decrease in our oil prices. What's a little oil between friends :)