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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    White House notifies Congress of $60 billion proposed arms deal with Saudi Arabia

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration formally notified Congress on Wednesday of plans to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60 billion worth of arms in a deal aimed at bolstering regional defenses against an ascendant Iran.

    The agreement, which will stretch out over as much as 20 years, would be the largest U.S. arms sale ever, if Riyadh buys all that has been authorized.

    It would make the kingdom’s aging jet fighter fleet among the most capable in the world, while not adding so much long-distance attack capability as to worry Israeli officials that the weapons could be turned against it. Israeli officials have not objected to the sale.

    Though a few congressional supporters of Israel have criticized the massive transaction, U.S. officials predict Congress will approve the sale. Lawmakers have 30 days to object.

    The deal will allow the Saudis to buy 84 new F-15 aircraft and to upgrade 70 more. It offers them 70 AH 64D Apache Longbow helicopters, 72 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, 36 AH-61 light attack helicopters, as well as 12 MD-530F light training helicopters.

    They also can buy a variety of missiles, bombs and other equipment, including night-vision goggles.

    Andrew Shapiro, an assistant secretary of state, said the deal “”will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East. And it will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against threats to its borders and to its oil infrastructure, which is critical to our economic interests.””

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