|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||May 23, 2017 10:49 AM EDT|
(Photo : Royal Saudi Land Forces) Men of the Royal Saudi Land Forces.
Saudi Arabia and the United States have signed the largest weapon's deal in history -- a mammoth $350 billion agreement over the next decade that will allow Saudi Arabia to strengthen its leadership of the Muslim world in the face of rising Iranian power and ongoing regional conflicts.
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The immediate sale is worth $110 billion, however.
The sale of most of the items in $350 billion weapons deal was approved during the term of former U.S. president Barack Obama. Obama, however, withheld formal approval of the deal after reports the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces used banned cluster bombs against Houthi rebels and their civilian supporters fighting against a Saudi-led coalition in the ongoing Yemeni Civil War.
The deal was signed a few days ago by U.S. president Donald Trump who recently ended an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
The deal will give the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces four "Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC)" frigates to modernize and strengthen the Royal Saudi Navy; 115 M1A2S Abrams tanks for the Royal Saudi Land Forces fighting in Yemen; a MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 missile system; a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system; 48 Boeing CH-47 Chinook troop and transport helicopters; 150 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters; radar and communications and cyber security technology, among other systems.
A separate weapons agreement will also see the armed forces receive over 16,000 kits for the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs. These weapons are used on Royal Saudi Air Force fighter jets, including the McDonnell Douglas F-15S Strike Eagle; the Panavia Tornado IDS and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The weapons will be put to use in the Yemeni Civil War.
Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition of 10 Arab states that have been fighting in the Yemini Civil War since March 2015. The aim of the Saudi-led alliance is to restore to power the legitimate regime of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi ousted by Shia Houthi rebels militarily supported by Iran.
The Saudi-led coalition includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan.
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