By Andy Sambidge
US State Department says Saudi's current Patriot missiles are becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain
The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia for a Patriot Air Defence System and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.75 billion.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale including 202 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles.
"The proposed sale will help replenish Saudi’s current Patriot missiles which are becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and the limited availability of repair parts," the statement said.
Also included are two PAC-3 telemetry kits, 6 fire solution computers, 36 launcher station modification kits, two missile round trainers, two PAC-3 slings, six Patriot automated logistics systems kits in a package worth $1.75 billion, it added.
It said the programme will help to improve the security of Saudi Arabia which is an "important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East".
"The purchase of PAC-3 missiles will support current and future defence missions and promote stability within the region," it added.
Saudi Arabia, which already has Patriot missiles in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces.
The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and Raytheon Corporation.
Implementation of this proposed programme will require one US contractor to travel to Saudi Arabia for a period of three years for equipment fielding and system checkout.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.