Saudi Arabia to buy 600 Patriot missiles for $5.4 bn

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Washington is about to approve a $5.Four billion sale of 600 superior Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia. More such gross sales are anticipated within the coming months, protection analysts say, as Gulf nations react to the Iran nuclear deal by shopping for US weapons methods.

According to a discover despatched to Congress by the Pentagon on Wednesday, the State Department has accredited a request by Saudi Arabia to buy $5.Four billion price of PAC-3 missiles.

“The proposed sale will modernize and replenish Saudi Arabia’s current Patriot missile stockpile, which is becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and limited availability of repair parts,” mentioned the Pentagon’s discover to Congress. “The purchase of the PAC-3 missiles will support current and future defense missions and promote stability within the region.”

PAC-Three stands for the third era of the Patriot Advanced Capability missile, the interceptor famously deployed throughout the first Iraq War. Made by Lockheed Martin Corp, the PAC-3, is marketed because the “the world’s most effective air and missile defense interceptor” towards plane, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles.

“Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they discuss the potential sale of additional PAC-3 Missiles as part of the upgrade of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Saudi Arabia already purchased a $2 billion cargo of Patriots in April, whereas the Pentagon bought $1.5 billion price of Patriots meant for Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, South Korea and the Saudis simply final week, in accordance to Defense One.

Gulf Arab states are keen to buy US counter-missiles, as embargoes on typical weapons and missiles towards Iran are anticipated to be lifted within the subsequent 5 to eight years below the phrases of a nuclear deal reached in Vienna on July 14.

“We’re going to see more of this,” Thomas Karako, a missile protection knowledgeable with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington informed Defense One. “So long as the Iranian missile threat exists, GCC and other countries in the region are going to have to invest in counters, offensive and defensive.”

The GCC consists of six Persian Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

At a summit with GCC envoys in May, President Barack Obama assured his Arab allies that the US would “stand by our GCC partners against external attacks.” A joint assertion adopted on the summit dedicated the US and the GCC to work in the direction of elevated safety cooperation, notably “on fast-tracking arms transfers… counter terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defense.”

The United Arab Emirates have already acquired a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, with a higher attain than the Patriot’s. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have additionally expressed curiosity within the THAAD, whereas Qatar is now probably to proceed with the acquisition of a missile-tracking radar system.

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