Fartashphoto's Blog

U.S. weapons sales in Middle East

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on August 17, 2010

The United States has approved a long list of arms sales to friendly Arab countries in the Persian Gulf aimed at countering Iran’s growing influence in the region.

The unprecedented sales could reach over $60 billion in pending deals with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The largest deal is the possible sale of 82 F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia for $30 billion. For another $30 billion, the Saudis are also interested in purchasing as many as 60 Apache attack helicopters.

Another deal, announced over the past week, is the possible sale of the latest Patriot missile defense system to Kuwait for $900 million. The proposed deal would include the sale of 209 missiles.

Kuwait is interested in the Patriot system in face of Iran’s growing influence in the region.

Kuwait is also looking to improve its air force and has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing Boeing’s new stealthy F-15 Silent Eagle version. At the same time, Kuwait is also augmenting its mid-air refueling capability and is seeking around 10 new tanker aircraft from the US.

In August 2007, the Bush Administration agreed to increase U.S. military assistance to Israel by $6 billion over the following decade. Israel is to receive incremental annual increases of $150 million, starting at $2.55 billion.

According to the Agency France Press, Egypt receives approximately $1.5 billion in US aid annually, half of what Israel receives.  Much of the aid given to countries by the United States must be used to buy American-made products and arms.

US airplane manufacturer Lockheed Martin has been given permission by the US government to sell 24 F-16 jet fighters to Egypt in a $3.2 billion deal.

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