US to Sell F-15 Fighters to Saudi Arabia
By Karen Parrish
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2011 - The United States will sell 84 new F-15 fighter jets and upgrades for 70 existing aircraft to Saudi Arabia under a nearly $29.4 billion agreement, U.S. officials announced today.
During a joint State Department and Defense Department briefing today, James N. Miller, principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, and Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, discussed the sale.
"The United States is firmly committed to the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as we have been for nearly seven decades, and ... more broadly, the United States and Saudi Arabia have a strong mutual interest in the security and stability of the Gulf," Miller said.
The F-15s Saudi Arabia will receive "will have the latest generation of computing power, radar technology, infrared sensors and electronic warfare systems," he added.
"This agreement reinforces the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia," Shapiro said. "It demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security."
State and DOD have worked to conclude the agreement since June 2010, Shapiro added.
The White House earlier today released a statement detailing the Foreign Military Sales program agreement, which also will provide munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics support for the F-15s to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
James N. Miller
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