The deal will supply 84 new Boeing F-15SA aircraft and modernize 70 existing planes and include munitions, spare parts, training and maintenance contracts, White House Deputy Spokesman Josh Earnest said. “This agreement reinforces the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and demonstrates the US commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security,” Earnest said. He said that the deal would support more than 50,000 American jobs, at a time of high unemployment, and provide $3.5 billion in annual impact to the US economy.
The deal was announced formally as President Barack Obama vacationed in his native state of Hawaii, but had been first unveiled as far back as October 2010 as part of a $60 billion US arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
The delivery of the package would unfold over 15 to 20 years and also includes Apache attack helicopters and Black Hawk choppers, defence officials said. Thursday’s announcement came at a time when tensions between Iran and the United States and its Gulf allies are rising, partly due to Tehran’s nuclear drive. Iran has rejected a warning that the US military would not tolerate an attempt by Tehran to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to tankers in a move that would threaten deep disruption to global oil supplies. – Dailytimes