x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pentagon approves US$1bn in arms sales

The US Department of Defense approves a arms deal worth US$1.01 billion to four US allies.

The US Department of Defense yesterday approved sales of radar and aircraft upgrades, missiles and other equipment valued at US$1.01 billion (Dh3.71bn) to four US allies ? France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees major arms sales, said it notified Congress about six separate deals in recent days. Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sales, although such action is rare as arms deals with US partners are carefully vetted before the Pentagon announces them.

The deals unveiled yesterday were: France The Pentagon approved the sale to France of upgrades to E-3F Awacs aircraft, used for surveillance and communications, with a mission computing system and associated equipment. The sale is valued at as much as $400 million. The Pentagon said it was needed to help French forces operate with Nato partners. The prime contractor will be Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems in Seattle.

Saudi Arabia The Pentagon said it had approved three separate sales to Saudi Arabia, together valued up to $340 million. Amongst the approved sales are AN/FPS-117 long-range radar upgrades and associated equipment and services, valued at up to $145 million. The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corp's aeronautics division in Syracuse, New York. The Pentagon also approved the sale of AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles and associated equipment valued at $164 million. The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems Company in Arizona.

The sale of air-to-air missiles will help secure 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 and economic progress in the Middle East", the DSCA said. Third, the Pentagon approved the sale of Multifunctional Information Distribution (MIDS) terminals that will be installed on Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The sale was valued at $31 million.

Turkey The Pentagon approved the sale to Turkey of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and associated equipment valued at $157 million. The sale will help Turkey modernize its forces, defend its borders and coastline and contribute to Nato operations, the Pentagon said. The prime contractor will be Raytheon's Electronic and Missile Systems in Arizona. Pakistan The Pentagon said it had approved the sale of AH-1F Cobra helicopter refurbishment and associated equipment, valued at as much as $115. It added the refurbishment would help Pakistan's efforts to defeat Taliban and al Qa'eda fighters in its tribal areas, used as bases to launch attacks against US troops in Afghanistan, and to conduct other counterterrorism missions.

The prime contractor will be US Helicopter in Ozark, Alabama. * Reuters