In a deal valued at up to $3.05 billion, the US State Department approved on Tuesday the potential sale of Patriot missiles and related tools and test equipment to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said.
Noting that Riyadh requested PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic missiles (GEM-T), Pentagon said in its statement that the proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a valued partner country.
Following US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month, a joint communique was issued describing the US-Saudi partnership as a cornerstone of regional security over decades and saying that both countries share a vision of a more secure, stable, and prosperous region.
Citing the persistent Houthi cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, which is said to be a force for economic progress and political stability in the Gulf region, the Pentagon pointed out that by replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles, this sale would improve the Kingdom’s ability to meet current and future threats
The statement added that the Pentagon also approved another deal worth $2.25 billion to the UAE for 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile rounds, THAAD fire control, THAAD Launch Control Stations (LCS), and two THAAD Tactical Operations Stations (TOS).
The deal also includes related equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, and spare and repair parts for the systems.
According to Pentagon, UAE is another vital partner of the United States for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East and this sale will improve its ability to reduce dependence on US forces in meeting current and future ballistic missile threats in the region.
The principal contractor for the Saudi deal will be US-based Raytheon while the contractor in the UAE deal will be Lockheed Martin.