Assistant Secretary Andrew J. Shapiro Bureau of Political-Military Affairs today announced that the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a letter of offer and acceptance for the sale of up to 84 advanced F-15SA fighter aircraft.
“In October 2010, I officially announced the Administration’s plan to sell to Saudi Arabia a significant defense package that would include advanced F-15 fighter aircraft and helicopters.” -Mr. Shapiro
He cited that the sale includes upgrades to its current fleet of 70 F-15 aircraft, as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance, and logistics.
He stated that the sale is worth $29.4 billion. The F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by the Boeing company, will be among the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world.
“This agreement serves to reinforce the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. It demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security.” -Mr. Shapiro
He noted that the Departments of State and Defense have worked closely with the Saudi Government and industry to finalize the particulars of the deal.
Mr. Shapiro outlined a few of the reasons why the defense package is so important and historic, and how it will advance U.S. national interests.
“This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East. It will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against external threats to its sovereignty. It will advance interoperability between the air forces of our two countries through joint training and exercises.” -Mr. Shapiro
He stressed that the agreement will positively impact the U.S. economy and further advance the President’s commitment to create jobs by increasing exports. He pointed out that according to industry experts, the agreement will support more than 50,000 American jobs. It will engage 600 suppliers in 44 states and provide $3.5 billion in annual economic impact to the U.S. economy.
“This will support jobs not only in the aerospace sector but also in our manufacturing base and support chain, which are all crucial for sustaining our national defense.” -Mr. Shapiro
He emphasized that the sale was carefully assessed under the U.S. Government’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy. He said the policy requires such sales be deemed in the national security interests of the United States, are consistent with the country’s legitimate security needs, and support U.S. regional security objectives.
“With this agreement, the United States and Saudi Arabia have accomplished a historic achievement in our longstanding security partnership, a partnership that furthers security and stability in the Gulf region.” -Mr. Shapiro