Saudis to acquire hundreds of advanced Patriot missiles

Middle East countries are seeking U.S. missile-interceptor missiles and aircraft counter-measure systems.
By Richard Tomkins  |  July 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- The proposed sales of U.S. Patriot interceptor missiles and aircraft counter-measure systems to Middle East countries have received State Department approval.

The separate packages, through the Foreign Military Sales program, have a combined worth of more than $5.7 billion and would "contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States" by aiding key allies, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the FMS program, told Congress the two countries involved are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to acquire 600 Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Cost-Reduction Initiative Missiles with containers.

Included in the proposed deal would be PAC-3 CRI test missiles, PAC-3 telemetry kits, PAC-3 guidance enhanced flight test target/Patriot as a Target missiles, fire solution computers, launcher modification kits, automated logistics system kits, and other equipment and support services.

The price tag: $5.44 billion.

"The proposed sale will modernize and replenish Saudi Arabia's current Patriot missile stockpile, which is becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and limited availability of repair parts," DSCA said.

The United Arab Emirates is seeking AN/AAQ 24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasures Systems, or DIRCM, and associated equipment, parts and logistical support under a proposed package worth $335 million.

In addition to four systems to help aircraft used to fly its head of state, the UAE is seeking small laser transmitter assemblies, system processors, and AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning System sensors. The sale also includes Control Interface Units, selective availability anti-spoofing modules, and other gear, as well as contractor support.

"This proposed sale of DIRCM will help provide protection to the UAE's Head of State aircraft," the agency said. "DIRCM will facilitate a more robust capability against increased missile threats. The sale of this advanced system will enhance the safety of the UAE's political leadership while bolstering U.S.-UAE relations."

The principal contractor for the proposed UAE sales would e Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Implementation of the sale would require one Field Service representative to live in the UAE for up to two years and U.S. government or contractor representatives to travel to the UAE for up to 6 years for support.

DSCA said neither the proposed sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia or DIRCM systems to the UAE would upset the existing military balance in the region. Nor, it said, would either sale have an adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness.

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