US approves $15bn sale of THAAD weapon system to Saudi Arabia
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of an estimated $15bn foreign military sale of the terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) system to Saudi Arabia.
The potential sale has been approved by the US State Department and covers 44 THAAD launchers, 360 THAAD interceptor missiles, 16 THAAD fire control and communications mobile tactical station group and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars.
The sale package also includes THAAD battery maintenance equipment, 43 prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, and spare / repair parts.
In addition to related support, equipment and services, Saudi Arabia has requested for publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, facilities construction, studies, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Raytheon will serve as principal contractors for the system.
The sale of THAAD system is expected to support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region against Iranian and other regional threats.
Purchase of the missile defence system will also support the modernisation of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSADF) while increasing the kingdom’s capability to defend itself against ballistic missile threats.
Managed by the US Missile Defense Agency, THAAD uses hit-to-kill technology to engage threats in both the endo and exo-atmospheres.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first international partner to procure the THAAD system with a contract awarded in December 2011.