US to Sell $650 Million Worth of Air-to-Air Missiles to KSA
The US State Department announced a deal to sell air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia worth $650 million, under the pretext of "an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia."
The Pentagon said that the US State Department has approved a possible deal with Saudi Arabia that includes 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL) along with containers and support equipment, spare parts, US Government and contractor engineering, and technical support.
This is the first major arms sale to Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration, ever since the latter adopted a policy of selling only defensive weapons to the kingdom.
A state department spokesperson said the department has approved the sale, adding that it comes after "an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year."
Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the deal will "improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats," and that the sale "will support US foreign policy and national security."
Biden had announced on February 4th that the US will cease its support for the war on Yemen and freeze weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, as part of his efforts to adjust the US relationship with the kingdom.