Saudi Arabia Prepares for $60 Billion Spending Spree
On October 20 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency lodged four separate notifications with the U.S. Congress covering a huge foreign military sales arms package for Saudi Arabia, with Boeing the major beneficiary if the procurements go ahead.
At the heart of the deal is a $30 billion package covering the supply of 84 Boeing F-15SA Eagles and the upgrade of 70 existing F-15S strike aircraft to the same standard. The F-15SA will be broadly similar to Singapore’s F-15SG, but will add the latest BAE Systems digital electronic warfare system (DEWS). It will have General Electric F110-GE-129 engines, APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, LANTIRN TigerEye navigation pod, Sniper targeting pod and AAS-42 infrared search and track. The package also includes a vast amount of ordnance, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and 10 Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pods have been requested. If the deal proceeds, 12 of the F-15SAs will be based in the U.S. for training. Helicopters form the basis of the other three requests, principally a $25.6 billion package covering 36 Boeing AH-64D Block III Apaches, 36 Boeing AH-6i light attack helicopters and 72 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks, as well as associated weapons and systems, for the Saudi National Guard. Ten AH-64Ds have additionally been requested for the Saudi Royal Guard, while the Royal Saudi Land Forces–already an Apache operator–is seeking 24 AH-64Ds. The Apaches will be armed with the AGM-114R Hellfire, of which 4,768 have been requested.