September 13th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Report: U.S., Saudis close to largest arms deal ever

Boeing F-15 fighter jets like these would be a large part of the reported arms deal.

The United States may be on the verge of its largest arms sale ever, a package of aircraft and weapons systems for Saudi Arabia that could total $60 billion when the final bill is done, according to a report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.

If completed, the deal could also generate more than 75,000 jobs, the Journal reported.

The Obama administration is expected to notify Congress of the planned sale this week, according to the Journal report. Production would take place over five to 10 years, the Journal said.

Key components of the sale would be Boeing F-15 fighter jets – as many as 84 new ones and the refurbishment of 70 others – and helicopters including 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and three dozen Little Birds.

Discussions are also under way over naval and missile defense systems for the Saudis, the Journal reported.

Meanwhile, Boeing is a contender in another F-15 sale, this time to South Korea.

The Korea Times reported Monday that the Pentagon has approved a Boeing request to market a stealth version of the F-15, dubbed the Silent Eagle, to Seoul.

The Times points out, however, that Lockheed-Martin’s F-35 Lightning and the Eurofighter Typhoon may be stronger contenders to win a South Korean order for 60 fighter jets.

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Filed under: Saudi Arabia • U.S.
soundoff (549 Responses)
  1. john

    the US(SS) selling the enemy more weapons. hellooooo

    September 13, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Other than food, what else do we have left to export? If you think we are selling our most cutting edge technologies to anyone, you need to get your head checked. And by the way Saudi Arabia has been an ally for decades.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAK

      Well, that "enemy" is providing you with gas in your car that you use everyday ...

      September 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Saudi Arabia is not our enemy. Just because your christian and they are muslim doesn't mean they have to be an enemy. OMG you religiouse poeple truly are nuts!

      September 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • fester

      they are not enemies. you should think before you type

      September 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • YaRight

      Who said anything about religion? Trying to start something you little troll?

      September 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThinkAloud9

      Seriously, John, where do you get your idea that the government of SA is an enemy? Not criticizing you–just would sincerely like to know why you think that.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • H8w8ting

      John, you are about as sharp as a bowling ball!!! Of course we sell our outdated military equipment all over the world. By the time we actually deliver on this contract we will have the newest version of stealth attack drones by the thousands. The fighter jets we deliver to the Saudis will be as usefull as a hot air balloon.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      Dave: Be Nice Now... Your talking about Our Government!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chut Pata

      People seems to have forgotten the photo that showed the gay action of George Dubya Bush and King Abdullah. Just google it and you can see these two religious nuts hand in hand and kissing each other on Dubya's ranch. Sleeping with the enemy? LOL.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • jack

      we have to do what we have to do

      September 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boris Soletsky

      Actually the US enemy is Al Qaeda, not the Saudi state

      The Saudi state did finance Islamism to further its own agenda, but the terrorist attacks in the mid-2000s taught the country a bitter lesson about supporting islamists. Support them, and they bite you back

      September 15, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Hey "John",

      Neither are enemy, and yes what we are selling them is hightech to them, but not for us. What next?! You think we shoudln't give defense systems to Isreal anymore?

      September 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • peterj(aust)

      My sentiments exactly. Selling weapons to a country that openly pursues and bankrolls a course of radical islamic teaching(throughout the world) based on WAHABISM does not seem to be a very smart move!!!! Will these arms ever be used against the West-you betcha. Better the Royals in Saudi spent the money on bringing their brand of ISLAM into the 21st Century.

      September 18, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Zaroizer

      The F-15 SE is a stealthy reconfiguration of the F-15 Strike Eagle. The Issue is 2 fold, first the design is an interim fighter meant to fill the gap between now and 2015 or so when the F-35 comes on line and even then it will probably be 2022 or so before airforces and Navies other than the US will see the F-35. The F-15 SE is not quite as stealthy in a forward profile as the F-35 and is not stealthy from any other direction. I think it should also be stated that the F-35 that the US military gets will be more stealthy than any exported variant. The F-22 is so limited in numbers as to not be a factor and its not being exported (Thank God I'm still p*ssed about the F-14 secrets Iran gave away). I say let them buy as many F-15 SE's they want. I would also say that we should have 70% of our F-15 force be silent eagles with the 30% being strike eagles and sell our used F-15 C's abroad.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      IF you think SA is an enemy, just imagine Iran controlling or merely wrecking those oil fields.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. ChrisB

    the stuff we sell them will work to our advantage. just because they have physical possesion of the aircraft doesnt mean some guy in computer lab somewhere cant shut it down.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • NICKB

      No doubt, I would sell my enemies all of their equipment if I could, this way we know the ins and outs and all of its vulnerabilities.......

      September 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I'm sure that can be done Chris and I would feel safer. In reply to NW13's many of the 911 hijackers were from Saudi? Do you honestly believe we can trust them?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • fester

      Timothy McVeigh was American so by that logic we cant trust us ether

      September 13, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zaroizer

      One other point I personally have never heard of ant combat pilots from anywhere in the world committing a terrorist act. So just how many terrorists would know how to fly and more importantly MAINTAIN a modern combat plane. An F-15 is extremely complex and I'm very sure that the terrorists (Muslim extremist of any stripe) have no Hardened revetments nor spare parts or for that point Missiles or bullets for any fighter plane. So short of them finding some old Mig 17's or 21's to piece together (which I also doubt they could repair or rebuild) I don't think we ever have worry about that senario.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. brown

    This is why so many in the Middle East hate the USA ... we continue to shore up countries which repress their people.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • 3827943

      Same thing happen in Iraq when US put Saddam in power and gave him weapons....enough said

      September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • zagool6

      U.S talks about democracy and human right but it has always been the big brother to the Saudis. Talking about supporting extremist Muslim with governing Sharia Law who finance terrorists.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Yes! I 100% agree with this comment! So often we cry out against other countries for oppressing their people yet we seem to turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia who are one of the worst!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack h.

      saudi arabia is our enemy to the extent that they consider us infidels. but propping up the royal family is beter then a hardline whabbi theocracy takeing power and proveing to us how much an enemy they truely are. remember iran? the shah was much better for the iranian people than the mullahs and clerics. if given a choice, the iranian people would welcome back the shah in a heart beat if he was still alive.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      Jack H – which is exactly why we removed Sadaam from power??? Let's just be honest, we make excuses and explainations as we go along. Bottom line, it's always about money and profit...and war is america's best method of profiteering. There's a reason why those FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE REPUBLICANS have no problem spending trillions on wars, while bemoaning "special interest programs" like education as a wasteful spending. Of course, it's logical that republicans/conservatives would want to keep the masses blissfully else do you get people willing to throw away their lives for a pointless war that only produces profits for war manufacturers?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    No word on protests over quran burning in SA? Oh that's right, they kill protestors there. Why are we giving them guns weapons?

    September 13, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Because they stand to make a lot of $$$$. Do you really think they care about political issues when they stand to make Billions of dollars?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      Josh: Do You really think America is much better??? The Middle Class is getting smaller all the time!!! There is a big diffeence between the Rich and poor today...

      September 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hatim

      Steve: who on earth told you Saudis kill protestors??? Where the f do you get your information

      September 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • hothead007

      Americans are not only selling weapons to saudis but also their mothers,sisters, daughters,wives to earn $ thats why 99.99 % American Christian donot know who their fathers are, wether its a suadi, iraqi,irani, afghani

      September 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. travis

    You all are idiots. If you knew anything you would know that saudi arabia isnt are enemy. They actually own large porions of the companys that make your life here in America possible. If anything saudi arabia has the means to help uphold peace in the middle east. So why wouldnt we help them help us? Read up on some current events and world politics before you make ignorant accusations of one of our countries allies such as them being "terrorists". it just proves why all of the world thinks we are spoiled ignorant asses. just my two cents.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • i smell a skunk

      Travis, since you're so smart, how about reminding us who was behind the 9-11 attacks? Oh, that's right, our good old pals the Saudis!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Eh - maybe you forgot that Bin Laden was a Saudi???

      September 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Very True. I don't understand why people automaticallly think Sadui is our enemy when it is the opposite.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOpinion

      Where did Osama Bin Laden come from????

      September 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      I seriously hope you don't believe that. Today's friends are tomorrows enemies. I just don't see the logic on selling other countries out technology

      September 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • crazy talk

      You can't associate the actions of one man with that of the entire country... Yes Bin Laden is from Saudi, just the same as the Uni-bomber is from the US. Does that mean every american likes to blow up buildings too?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spell Check

      Travis, I'm not entering this debate one way or another. However, I would like to point out that if you are going to call someone ignorant, try spell checking your work before posting it.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • abby

      Travis, a long time ago - the Krupp family in Germany sold weapons and munitions to anyone with the money - in WW I the weapons and munitions they sold killed German soldiers - Never, ever sell your potential or real enemy a weapon - it's the height of insanity -

      September 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Following the logic of a few in this post, Timothy McVeigh was an American therefore we shouldn't sell weapons to ourselves! Wise up, one extreme man doesn't speak for millions. The Saudi's have been good allies for years, $100 says that we stage our next war against Iran out of Saudi Arabia.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SamNav

      Rather presumptious of you, Travis, to assert that we "ALL are idiots." You regurgitate what you were fed by shallow media reporting. Saudi Arabia may have invested in American industry, but that does not make them our friends. SA may have the means to further peace, but their actions are in the opposite direction. Radical Islamists are agitating the masses in SA, and eventually will overthrow the Saudi monarchy. Then we will discover that the terrorists own America's industry, and possess America's most sophisticated weaponry. What will we do then, genius, call a do-over?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dani

      LMAO "where did osama bin laden come from?"
      are you kidding me.. so your comparing one man because of the so called 9/11 attacks to a whole COUNTRY
      OSAMA and Saudi arabia?

      so where did timothy mcveigh come from?
      where did the asian shooter at that university come from?
      the 2 snipers outside DC (Molvo and whatever)

      every basket has its bad apples ..idiots
      osama is saudi doesn't mean saudi arabia is a threat
      just like typical americans who commit crimes and so on ..

      seriously educate yourselfs people

      September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • secular1

      to Skunky – since you are so brilliant yourself, then you must also believe that Tim McVeigh represents Americans, and the KKK represents Christianity, and GWBush represents the height of American intellect. You need to get a better paintbrush if you want to paint by numbers...

      September 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      Wait, we cant declare Saudi Arabia a potential future enemy, because they are our friends now? That's funny – see Afghanistan, See Iraq, see pretty much every place we've meddled in. Also, we can declare that Islam is not a peaceful religion because of what terrorists are doing in it's name (and let's not be cute here, most americans ARE saying this) but we cant give Saudi Arabia the similar treatment, why? Finally, if the dealing of weapons to foreign states is simply about making money and being good american capitalists...whats the beef with the Cultural Islamic Center a few blocks from the WTC site? That's just good ol fashion capitalism at work...who cares what happens down the line, right?

      September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dok13

      Here's the skunk u smell: the Saudis carried out 9/11. The CIA planned it. It was a necessary step, the pretext to attack Afghanistan & Iraq. The Saudis let us use their air fields during the invasion of Iraq. They were partners in the "war crime" to steal Iraq's oil right out from under the feet of the people of Iraq. Now they share the spoils of war with the western oil companies. For all u Obama bashers, Bush is probably playing golf with the Saudi Royal family right now. He gave them weapons. He didn't even make them pay. Learn your history.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • fester

      your so right travis. well spoken

      September 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Connor

      Major fallacy if you consider Saudi to be full of osamas. One person coming from Saudi doesn't mean they are all like him. Please stop generalizing

      September 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • fester

      just because an enemy came from a certain country does not mean the whole country is an enemy. when you group people like this it just shows your stupidity

      September 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loggan44

      I'm just a regular American guy. Trying to make a living. Served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. The media causing a lot of hate mongering on both sides. I heard one Saudi woman say, "It was good that 9/11 happened so the US could get a taste of what they are doing to other countries". That sounds pretty hate-filled to me. I feel badly when any innocent civilians are collaterol damge. But based on these blogs, we'll never have peace in the world. Bloggers can't even make peace. that's my two cents.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris in Vancouver

      Loggan44, what the Saudi woman said was very reasonable, and apparently you still don't get it, as you refer to "collateral damage".

      You can't even spell it right.

      You feel "badly" about "collateral damage".

      The victims of 9/11 were also "collateral damage" in the terrorist's attempt to hit back at the US for causing "collateral damage" in Muslim lands.

      I think you felt more than "badly" about the killing done by the terrorists on 9/11.

      Just like Muslims feel a little more than "badly" about their people that the US kills.

      You're right, there never will be peace, at least not until the powerful give a d@mn about the pain they cause to the weak.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      You must be one of the Arms Dealer that is making money selling to them???

      September 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ed

    I hope these are equip. with some device that tells US when they are being used against US. I hope that sale $ goes to pay our nat. debt.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • waka-waka

      60 billion is a drop in the bucket against our debt....

      September 14, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Fahmeel

    We aren't at war with Saudia Arabia nor have we ever been. Some people really need to check up on their geography. We buy so much oil from Saudis. If you feel they are such a major threat why don't you stop driving your car.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • yaright

      Luckily we get most of our oil from Canada.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brosti

      I DON'T drive a car.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      So that Our Oil Companies can make more of a Profit that they get here!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ahmed

    I wonder who is the Saud family oh sorry the Saudies are afraid of. For years they have bought weapons from the US, but hardly used them against anyone. Come no one in the middle east countries ever think of attacking Saudi Arabia. Iran is not stupid to attack a country with 2 sacred mosques, in Madina and Mecca. If they do so they have to deal with Musilms from Indonesia to Morocco. For that matter anyone or any group will face similiar action. Even the crazy Saddam did not dare to do anything to bring the Musilm uprisings. That then leave why then? Oh our US economy needs somehow to recover and those who have their jobs needs jobs 75000 of them. Now that is how we can impose US taxation on the Saud family

    September 13, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • dok13

      You make some valid points. Nevertheless, the powers planning the future bombing & invasion of Iran need Saudi help. WE used THEIR airfields in the invasion of Iraq. In fact used their whole country as a base of attack. Did you forget that?? The news media was ablaze back then about how Saudi Arabia's royal family was turning a deaf ear to the Muslim world & even their own people. ( Don't you remember reading about the terrorist attacks within Saudi Arabia to protest cooperation with the USA??) That's because the Saudi royal family doesn't care about religion. They care about oil dollars. There sure is lotza oil in Iraq & even more in Iran. This was all planned it the 80's & they (read oil interests) are half way through the plan now. THink about it. All these wars on your tax dollar do not benefit you in anyway, unless you buy EXXON Mobil stock.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Albert

    This deal is very, very, very irresponsible!

    September 13, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Amen to that – but it's the American way: anything to make a buck.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      dok: Isn't that what the Republicans and the Tea Party are all about???

      September 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NICK


    September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)


      September 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hatim

      Finally someone who reads current events and smart enough to know that saudi Arabia is a FRIEND of the U.S.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Oh GREAT! Then once they're fully armed they'll declare war against the USA. Anything to make a buck! This is pathetic.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Ya because their 160 planes will definatley compete with America's 2000 some odd. Good call.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      The US navy has more planes by themselves than all the top 10 largest airforces in the world combined.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeAverage

      @Ted 9 years ago it only took "them" 2 planes to rock our world.

      The Sauds are not America's friends, they're Bush's friend's, they're Halliburton's friends, but certainly not America's friend or ally. That's like saying Wal-Mart is my friend.. I need an unneccesary evil like Warlmart because I can't afford to buy expensive things, and they're more than willing to peddle me their wares, but they're not my ally or friend. In the last 10+ years, the Sauds, Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and others near them laughed all the way to the bank, while you and I were either out of a job or paying $3.00 and up per a gallon for gas.

      They're the dealers and we're the addicts. And boy do they know it.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. matt

    lets give a country that controls our oil a mass amount of weapons and fighter jets. sounds like they could easily shut down our oil trade and then attack us or someone else. they have no reason for them. wake up america.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • General

      Good move by Obama especially if it generates money and creates jobs- Also the weapons that we are selling are second tier weapons the F-15's have been replaced by the F-22 fighters- some of you critics are acting like we are sellling them Stealth bombers or nukes- get real guys.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    Yay for the Military Industrial Complex. They hate us for our freedoms, we love them for their oil, money and love of weapons.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ben

    Hai guys! Let's give $60 billion in weapons to the country that supported terrorism, how bout' it!

    This is unbelievable....

    September 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Saudi Arabia is the closest thing to a friend in the middle east. You cannot say that becuase Bin Laden is a Saud, that Saudia Arabia promotes terrorism. Sudan, Pakistan, Iran, etc. those are the hot beds for terrorism. Would you say America promotes terrorism?? What about the uni-bomber, Tim Mcvey, and a hand full of other people that have committed acts of terror, who were American born. Every country is going to have extreamist in some fashion.

      Plus, were selling them old technology. We know this technology inside and out, so if for some crazy reason they decide to attack us with our own weapons (which wiil not happen in any of our lifetimes) were going to know how to defend against it.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • thumper1962

      Are you for real. The terrorists that brought on 9/11 came primarily from Saudi Arabia. The only reason that we are friends with this country is because of OIL. New technology or old technology, if used correctly can still kill one of our service members. Yes, the U.S. has some wackos amongst its populace. But killing thousands of people just because you think your religion doesn't stink, Come on! Islam is a hate religion through and through.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      No its not. Would you say christianity is a hate religion, through and through?? What about the crusades? That was all carried out in the name of God. It just wasnt done the way the terrorist did it on 9/11. All religion is retarded to begin with. Its used as a cover for people to feel good about themselves, wage wars, etc. I believe in God, but I do not subscribe to a religion.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Bush said: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."

      September 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. md

    These arms the saudis will never use anyway and more jobs are good for the economy at this time.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel (USA ARMY)

      J: Do You really think the Republicans are any better??? All They think about is the money too!!! They don't care about the People of this Country and what will happen to Them...

      September 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
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