According to a statement the Pentagon said that the US State Department approved its first major arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under US President Joe Biden with the sale of 280 air-to-air missiles valued at up to $650 million.
As per details, The Pentagon notified Congress of the sale, If approved, the deal would be the first sale to Saudi Arabia since the Biden administration adopted a policy of selling only defensive weapons to the Gulf ally.
A spokesperson said that the US State Department had approved the sale on Oct. 26, added that the air-to-air missile sale comes after “an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year.” Raytheon Technologies makes the missiles.
The State Department spokesperson said in a statement that the sale “is fully consistent with the administration’s pledge to lead with diplomacy to end the conflict in Yemen,” The air-to-air missiles ensure “Saudi Arabia has the means to defend itself from Iranian-backed Houthi air attacks,” he added
The Biden administration, After the Trump administration’s friendly relationship with Riyadh, recalculated its approach to Saudi Arabia, a country with which it has severe human rights concerns but which is also one of Washington’s closest U.S. allies in countering the threat posed by Iran.
The official said that the package would include 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, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support.
Despite approval by the State Department, the notification did not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.
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