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Saudi Arabia buy of THAAD missile defense systems in pipeline

By
Richard Tomkins
A THAAD ballistic missile defense system is tested by the U.S. Army. U.S. Army photo by Ralph Scott/Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense
A THAAD ballistic missile defense system is tested by the U.S. Army. U.S. Army photo by Ralph Scott/Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A proposed sale of THAAD upper tier ballistic missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia has been approved by the State Department.

The U.S. Foreign Military Sales deal would be worth an estimated $15 billion, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency told Congress Friday.

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"This sale furthers U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats," the agency said in a press release. "This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia's capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region."

The sales package is for 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense launchers, 360 THAAD Interceptor Missiles, 16 THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group, and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars.

Other items include THAAD Battery maintenance equipment, 43 trucks, generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, and test and maintenance equipment.

Spare and repair parts, logistics, construction of facilities and other program support would also be covered in the proposed deal.

DSCA said THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defense architecture and will support modernization of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force.

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Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Raytheon would be the principal contractors for the THAAD system.

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