Saudi Arabia inks $15 bln deal for Lockheed’s missile defense system

THAAD deal had been under discussion since December 2016. (Shutterstock)

Saudi Arabia will buy Lockheed Martin’s $15 billion missile defense system, a US Department of State spokesman said on Wednesday.

The State Department said the Saudis and US officials signed the letters of offer and acceptance documents on Monday, formalizing terms for Saudi’s purchase of 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, missiles and related equipment.

In recent weeks the Trump administration and the US defense industry worked to save the few actual deals in the $110 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia. The THAAD deal had been under discussion since December 2016 and is now completed, the spokesperson said.

Trump and King Salman discussed in a late September phone call the THAAD missile defense system deal, a Saudi official told Reuters in October. The official said at that time that the deal could well be closed by the end of the year.

The State Department spokesman said the deal, first reported by CNBC, supports the “long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of the growing ballistic missile threat from the Iranian regime and Iran-backed extremist groups.”

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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