President Donald Trump has clinched a $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia over the weekend during his visit in Riyadh; $110 billion of that figure will take affect immediately.
The U.S. State Department said in a written statement that the arms package “supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian related threats.”
Saudi Arabia one of the primary destination for U.S. arms sales, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, with the Kingdom purchasing nearly 10 % of U.S. exports from 2011 to 2015.
The arms package represents an enhancement of Saudi Arabia’s military capabilities as tensions flare in the region, with the U.S. viewing the Saudis as a cornerstone in efforts to check the global ambitions of Iran.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon are seen as the biggest beneficiaries as per experts and their stock price have risen sharply after the deal.
In this video, Defense Updates provides viewers with the list of 5 most important weapons being sold by US to Saudi Arabia as part of this deal.
Lets get started.
PAVEWAY GUIDANCE SYSTEMS
The U.S. has sold precision-guided bombs and technology to the Saudis as far back as 2008, but the kingdom has reportedly been badly in need of a resupply since its campaign in Yemen kicked off two years ago.
“Paveway” guidance systems “convert thousands of dumb bombs into smart bombs.”
Paveway kits attach to a variety of warheads, and consist of a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker, a computer control group (CCG) containing guidance and control electronics, thermal battery, and pneumatic control augmentation system (CAS).
M1A2 MIAN BATTLE TANK
Saudi Arabia will get 133 new Saudi-specification M1A2S main battle tanks. 20 additional tanks will replace those from the Saudis fleet that were lost in combat, possibly against Yemen.
The M1A2 is an improvement on the M1A1. Significant upgrades include the re-designed Commander’s Weapon Station (CWS).
The M1A2 is arguably one of the most sophisticated tanks the world, and it’s much more advanced than Iran’s Karrar.
The tank sale also comes with M88A1/A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES). HERCULES can be used to tow damaged tanks from the battlefield for repairs.
Other support equipment and training will also be part of the package.
The M1A2 will give Saudi Arabia a definitive edge in case of ground battle.
Riyadh will get around 48 CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters.
The iconic twin rotor heavy-lift helicopter is a battle proven machine that has flown countless missions into warzones from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. While the original Chinook first flew in 1962, it has undergone several upgrades, and is now one of the most modern heavy lift choppers in the world.
CH-47F Chinook is able to carry 33 troops plus 3 crew, with a maximum gross weight of 50,000 pounds, and maximum cruise speed of 160 knots.
The deals also include 112 Lycoming T55-GA-714A engines that the Chinooks use, 58 AN AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, and 48 M240H 7.62mm machine guns with spare parts and other hardware.
MULTI-MISSION SURFACE COMBATANTS
The Saudis will be getting some “Multi-Mission Surface Combatants,” or MMSC ships, which are based on the Freedom-class, primarily built by Lockheed Martin.
The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) is a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface vessel capable of littoral and open ocean operation. I
It has a nautical range of 5,000 miles and can go as far as 30 knots per hour.
The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library.
The MMSC is armed with multiple weapons system which include 57mm Mk110 deck gun, SeaRAM, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.
The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system
TERMINAL HIGH ALTITUDE AREA DEFENSE
Perhaps the most controversial missile defense system in the world, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, will be sold to Saudi Arabia.
THAAD, is an anti-ballistic missile system, which is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. THAAD uses a hit-to-kill approach that is the missile carries no warhead, but relies on the kinetic energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. It has a range of 200 km.
U.S. recently deployed the THAAD to South Korea to protect it against North Korean missiles.
This is seen as part of the effort to provide Saudi Arabia with a cover against the missiles of Iran, its main rival. Though there are plenty of critiques about the system, it is highly advanced and would be a powerful addition to Saudi Arabia’s ballistic missile defense.