Saudi $29.4 billion F-15 deal confirmed by White House
Saudi Arabia is to receive 84 new Boeing F-15 fighters with advanced radar equipment and digital electronic warfare systems plus upgrades of 70 older F-15s as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics in an $29.4 billion deal agreed with the US Administration yesterday.
The White House finally gave its blessing to the deal which had been approved by Congress last year after saying it would support more than 50,000 jobs and help reinforce regional security in the Gulf amid mounting tension with Iran.
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney today welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom. "For Boeing, this agreement represents the continuation of an enduring partnership between the company and the Kingdom that dates back to 1945 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented a DC-3 Dakota airplane to King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said McNerney. "We appreciate the efforts of the Obama Administration and the trust of King Abdullah's government in finalizing the agreement, which will support tens of thousands of American jobs and help the Kingdom enhance its defense capabilities and diversify its workforce."
The first of the new warplanes will be delivered to Saudi Arabia in early 2015. Upgrades to existing planes will begin in mid-to-late 2014, according to About 5,500 Saudi personnel will get training with U.S. forces through 2019, said James Miller, principal deputy US undersecretary of defense for policy.
The planes are equipped with advanced radars, missiles and infrared sensors, Miller said. A common communications system will allow U.S. and Saudi pilots to operate in the same airspace, he said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of Boeing's most valued customers operating a fleet of existing Boeing F-15s, Apache helicopters, AWACS, and special mission aircraft. "Boeing is privileged to support the important U.S./Saudi bi-lateral relationship, and we are pleased Saudi Arabia has chosen the proven, state of the art capabilities of our F-15 and rotorcraft platforms," said McNerney. "Boeing views Saudi Arabia as a market with great potential and has made it a priority to invest in Saudi Arabia's aviation industry while working to strengthen local technical and vocational training programs and institutions."
The U.S. government has also offered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 70 new AH-64 Apache strike helicopters and 36 AH-6i helicopters, plus support and training. All the LOAs together will total approximately $24 billion in Boeing sales.