The intended sales of the defense packages in particular fall into five broad categories:
- border security and counterterrorism, maritime and coastal security,
- air force modernization,
- air and missile defense,
- cyber security and
- communications upgrades.
And I think you can surely identify in all of these the importance that all of those areas have to U.S. national security as well.
Saudi Arabia’s Naval Capabilities Will Balloon Thanks To Huge U.S. Arms Deal
Riyadh’s naval forces increasingly need new and better warships to counter Iran and project power throughout the region.
US. President Donald Trump will unveil the largest single American weapons sale to Saudi Arabia to date during his trip to the kingdom, which began on May 19, 2017. The deal will include weapons and equipment for the Royal Saudi air and land forces, which have been critical in Riyadh’s intervention in Yemen, as well as ballistic missile defense systems essential to for the country to counter Iran’s missile forces during a conflict. However, it may be new support for the relatively small Royal Saudi Navy that speaks more to the country’s desire to project even greater power in the Middle East and beyond.
On May 18, 2017, The New York Times published an insider’s look into how White House advisor Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, had been actively involved in the arms sales, which many expect will be worth between $100 and $110 billion in immediate deals and up to $350 billion in total over the next decade. In particular, Kushner had personally intervened, as is the style of the Trump administration, to get the Saudis a discount on components of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system – the same weapon the United States had very publicly deployed to South Korea earlier in 2017.
The arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defensive capabilities, Reuters reported last week quoting a senior White House official.
“We are in the final stages of a series of deals. The package includes American arms and maintenance, ships, air missile defense and maritime security,” the official said.
The proposed arms package are said to include Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system (THAAD) for $1 billion, Bradley fighting vehicles, M109 artillery, LCS and $1 billion-worth of munitions that include laser-guided bombs and armor piercing warheads.
The package includes American arms and maintenance, ships, air missile defense and maritime security, the official said.
The US state department in March approved a multi-million dollar arms sale that included tanks and armored vehicles and precision-guided military technology to Saudi Arabia that was blocked by the previous Obama Administration.
The deals were opposed by over 60 members of House of Representatives over human rights concern in Yemen last year.
Guide to $400 Billion in Saudi-U.S. Deals: Black Hawks to Oil
Saudi Arabia signed billions of dollars of deals with U.S. companies during President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh. Estimates of their total value vary from $300 billion to close to $400 billion.
Here is a list of what’s been announced:
- U.S. and Saudi Defense Ministry negotiated a package of about $110 billion, according to a White House transcript
- Saudi Aramco signed accords with companies valued at about $50 billion
- Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, agreed to commit $20 billion to an infrastructure investment fund with Blackstone Group
While no complete breakdown has been provided, here is a list of U.S. companies involved:
- Lockheed Martin signed an MoU for 150 S-70 Black Hawk helicopters to be assembled in Saudi Arabia
- Raytheon will establish Raytheon Arabia based in Riyadh
- General Dynamics agreed to localize design, engineering, manufacturing and support of armored combat vehicles
- General Electric signed MoU with Saudi Arabia valued at $15 Billion
- Honeywell International signed a $3.6 billion MoU with Saudi Aramco
- McDermott International also signed an MoU with Saudi Aramco with a potential value of about $2.8 billion
- Boeing, SaudiGulf Airlines to negotiate wide-body jet purchase
- Jacobs Engineering Group signed MoU with a value of $250 million
- Oil & Gas:
- Saudi Aramco updates MoU with Rowan Cos for design and selection process for offshore rigs as part of the $7 billion investment over 10 years; Rowan will own and operate offshore drilling rigs
- Rowan signed MoU with Saudi Aramco’s supply chain with an initial investment value of $1.2 billion
- Saudi Aramco signed MoU for additional well services and studies into rig movements as an extension of a JV with Nabors Industries. The JV will see $9 billion of investments over 10 years
- Nabors signed an MoU with Saudi Aramco for its supply chain with value of $1.6 billion
- Saudi Aramco, National Oilwell Varco to create JV to manufacture drilling rigs and equipment
- Weatherford International signed MoU with a potential value of $2 billion