U.S. Helps Saudi Arabia Beef Up Military Capabilities
“Saudi Arabia is in advanced discussions with the U.S. government about buying two frigates based on a coastal warship that Lockheed Martin Corp is building for the U.S. Navy, and could reach agreement by the end of the year,” Reuters reports.
“The frigate sale, valued at well over $1 billion, will be the cornerstone of a long-delayed multi billion dollar modernization of the Royal Saudi Navy’s Gulf-patroling eastern fleet of aging U.S. warships and would include smaller patrol boats. It underscores the strong business and military ties between the two countries, despite tensions over the U.S.-led Iran nuclear deal.”
“The Saudi Naval Expansion Program II has been under discussion for years, but U.S. sources say Saudi Arabia’s concerns about Iran have accelerated the effort… Saudi and U.S. officials are also finalizing details of a deal worth $1.9 billion to buy 10 MH-60R helicopters, which can be used for anti-submarine warfare and other missions.”