The United States plans to sell Patriot missile batteries to Saudi Arabia worth $ 1.75 billion and long-range artillery in the UAE for $ 900 million, according to the Pentagon Wednesday. The Defence Department notified Congress of the possible sale of arms this week as fighters of the two Gulf countries took part in the international air campaign waged by the United States against the jihadists organization Islamic State (EI) in Iraq and Syria.
The Saudi government has requested the purchase of 202 Patriot missiles to advanced-III capability (PAC-3), the most sophisticated version of the Patriot anti-missile weapons, and a test target in flight, telemetry and kits other such equipment, said in a statement the Defence Security Cooperation agency, the federal agency responsible for overseeing arms sales.
“This offer of sale will help renew the current Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia, which are outdated and difficult to maintain because of their age and the limited availability of spare parts,” says the agency. This will also help “to foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic growth Middle East, “she added.
Kuwait and Qatar have already purchased in the past PAC-3 missiles, designed to destroy ballistic missiles in particular in the air and enemy aircraft. Gulf countries have in recent years invested heavily in missile defence weapons, primarily for protection against Iran they view as a regional threat. Patriot missiles, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, have a range of 300 km and more advanced than the old radar systems.
The United States Department of Defence has also notified Congress of the proposed sale of 12 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) Launchers, artillery long range in the UAE for nearly $ 900 million. This heavy artillery “enhance the ability of the United Arab Emirates to meet current and future threats and to provide better security for their critical infrastructure,” says the agency. This will also strengthen their military capability to operate with American forces, she adds. Congress has 30 days to object to the arms sales. If he does not, the government can negotiate sales contracts with the two countries.