Saudi arms deals proven to contribute to the US economy
The kingdom is one of the biggest customers for US arms, making up to 10 percent of the total export in past years. In the last eight years
In one of the biggest foreign military sales in US history, Saudi Arabia has acquired one of the most advanced jet fighters, the F-15 Eagle, in a deal with Boeing worth more than $29 billion. In the deal, Saudi will add 84 newly built F-15SAs to the royal Saudi air forces.
The kingdom is one of the biggest customers for US arms, making up to 10 percent of the total export in past years. In the last eight years, Saudi bought $115 billion worth of weapons from the US.
While the recent Saudi deal of F-15 Eagle with Boeing is worth more than $29 billion, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), revealed that Boeing is among the six American companies placed among the top eight global firms, based on defense-related revenues.
Boeing is ranked second with ($31 billion), while Lockheed Martin topped the list with $35 billion in arms sales, Raytheon ($22 billion), Northrop Grumman ($20 billion), and General Dynamics ($19 billion) ranked fourth through sixth, while United Technologies ($12 billion) took eighth position.
And according to the numbers the SIPRI report showed, the arms exports are not only meant to achieve national security and foreign policy goals, but also these sales deals can provide significant economic benefits as well, particularly for the workers and communities where production is located.
While the US economy benefits from such deals, Saudi Arabia is playing a vital role in preserving the US national security goals in the MENA region. The US and its European allies are crucially dependent on the Saudi role in the war on terror. The kingdom is seen as one of the most influential in the MENA region and the Islamic world, and is seen as the defender of neighboring Arab countries against potential aggressions form regional powers, particularly Iran.
Saudi Arabia ranks 4th in terms of defense spending and considered a strategic ally to the US government. And since early seventies, a major cooperative project has taken place between the Kingdom and USA on a wide range of joint projects including developing capacity of the Saudi air forces, training, maintenance, supplying, and supporting facilities.
In related news, the US State Department inked $1.8 billion in arms deals for the UK, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Kenya this week, including air-to-air missiles and threat detection systems.
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