The US has approved a sale of $20 billion fighter jets by Boeing and Lockheed Martin to Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
The potential sales include 72 Boeing F-15 jets to Qatar and 32 F/A-18 E/F fighters to Kuwait. Lockheed would be able to sell as many as 19 of its F-16s to Bahrain.
The sale of fighter jets was long-stalled due to Israeli government’s influence, Gulf News reported today.
A notification sent to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees on Wednesday begins an initial review that could last as long as 40 days, an official said. That notice will trigger an official 30-day review.
The aircraft sales will deliver on pledges by President Barack Obama and the Pentagon to strengthen the weaponry of US allies in the Middle East. The allies were uncomfortable after the US agreed to a deal with their regional rival, Iran, to ease international economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Qatar lodged its proposal in July 2013, and Kuwait made its request in April 2015. Bahrain’s is more recent.
The aircraft sales could be valued at as much as $12 billion for the planes, and $20 billion if spare parts, logistical support and munitions are included, Richard Abu Lafia, an aerospace analyst for the Teal Group in USA said. The sales would help keep open assembly lines for older planes, such as the one in St. Louis where Boeing builds the F-15, as US purchases shift to Lockheed’s new F-35, he added.
Lockheed Martin has won a $395 million from US Air Force for the production of the ninth and tenth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities and extend spacecraft life to 15 years, 25 percent longer than any GPS satellites on orbit today
Lockheed Martin has manufactured and delivered the first modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile to the US Army. As part of the US Army's TACMS Service Life Extension Program inventory refurbishment effort, the modernized missile includes updated guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets without leaving behind unexploded ordnance
Rheinmetall has won a contract to set up an urban warfare “training city from a customer of Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. The complete ‘training city site, which will be constructed in the customer country, will have technical features that make it the advanced training centre for preparing soldiers and security personnel for urban operations
Leonardo-Finmeccanicas Falco EVO unmanned air system (UAS) has been selected by two customers in the Middle East and Gulf region. A surveillance and intelligence-gathering platform, the Falco EVO can fly for up to 20 hours, carrying a payload of up to 100 kg
Swizerlands government has approved some Middle Eastern arms deals which were previously blocked in response to the rising military conflict in Yemen, the local media reported Wednesday. With approved deal amounting to some 178 million Swiss francs ($184 million), the government allowed the sale of air defense system, military aircraft and artillery spare parts and other defensive equipment that cannot be used in ground combat in Yemen, Sputnik reported citing the Telebasel television broadcaster report
The US State Department has approved an upgrade to Kuwait for M1A1 Abrams Tanks estimated to cost $29 million. The Government of Kuwait has requested a possible sale of two hundred eighteen (218) M1A1 Abrams tank hulls with 120mm cannons and two hundred eighteen (218) AGT-1500 (M1 Tank Series) engines in support of its M1A2 tank recapitalization
The US State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain for 19 F-16V fighter aircraft estimated to cost US$2.785 billion besides upgrading its 20 existing F-16 Block 40 aircraft to F-16V configuration for US$1
Bahrain has accused Qatar of fanning the attempted coup in 2011 to overthrow the King Hamad regime. According to a report published by the Bahrain news agency (BNA) Tuesday, Qatar sparked the unrest in February 2011, helped the protesters with financial and logistic support and also supported with media coverage,
Qatar will purchase Boeing F-15 fighter jets worth an estimated US $12billion, an agreement to this effect was concluded by Qatari Minister of Defence Khalid Al Attiyah and his US counterpart Jim Mattis in Washington DC on Wednesday,
The US State Department has backed the sale of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to Bahrain for US$2.7 billion quashing improved human rights pre-conditions put by the previous Obama administration
Germany's Protestant and Catholic churches on Monday have called for a revision of laws for arms export governing the approval of deliveries to other countries, pointing mainly at the Gulf states. Martin Dutzmann, chairman of an ecumenical joint committee on development policy was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle German Radio that there had been "an exorbitantly high number of approvals for arms exports" in 2015 and the first half of 2016
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