US Defense Department will sell Patriot missile batteries of $1.57 billion to the Saudi Arabia and rocket launchers of $900 million to the United Arab Emirates, Pentagon said on Wednesday.
The initial details of the sale came public in April, and the Pentagon announcement informed Congress of the intention to follow through on the previously reported plans.
The Saudi government had requested the purchase of 202 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles — the most sophisticated version of the Patriot anti-missile weapons — as well as a flight test target, telemetry kits and other related equipment, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
“The proposed sale will help replenish Saudi’s current Patriot missiles which are becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and the limited availability of repair parts,” the agency said.
“The program will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” it added.
Both Kuwait and Qatar already have purchased the PAC-3 weapons, which are designed to knock out incoming ballistic missiles as well as enemy aircraft and cruise missiles using ground radar.
The system “will improve the UAE’s capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.
The weapons, which deliver precise and powerful artillery fire at a long range, would also bolster the UAE military’s ability to operate with US forces, it noted.
Congress has 30 days to raise objections to the potential arms sales. Without any move to block the deals, the US government can then negotiate contracts with the two countries.