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. Clint

    Good grief, we are not going to war with Saudi Arabia. I think you guys need to unplug from the internet for a while. Yes, most of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Last I checked, we don't sell F-15s to civilians. And maybe the Vatican will sell fighter jets to that moron in FL who wanted to burn the Koran. Get a clue people!

    September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USAF2003

    The US Government sells our outdated aircraft to Ally countries all the time. Those of you who are bashing this must have no idea that the Israeli AF flies F-16s, as well as the Royal Jordanian AF. The key point to remember is that the aircraft being sold is literally decades behind the current versions that our Air Force is flying.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sebastian H.

    $800,000 per job. What a $#&**!! waste. The U.S. is the largest arms dealer and exporter of war in the world. The war machine is destabilizing, polluting, and destroying lives across the planet.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeke

      Planes aren't free. Not to argue about death and pollution but your math is incorrect. Although I'm sure plenty of people are getting rich you still have to account for the price of parts into your math. After that you have taxes and the jobs that will be sustained because the facilities that manufacture the F15 can still operate and now expand. Whatever is then left over you can thank the unions for what the take is for the higher ups at Boeing/Lockheed.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hero

    This is the easiest way to get free oil . Sell the junk to the Sauidi King and call it refurbished

    September 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mypitts2

    thumper1962 said "The only reason we are friends with the Saudis is because of their oil. One day we will become their enemy, and our service men and women will die by our own technology."

    There is precedent. We have for years been trying to recover the Stinger missiles we gave to Bin Laden's boys back when they were fighting the Soviets. Now some of the missiles have found their way to the rotor blades of U.S. helicopters.

    People who think the U.S. is some babe in the woods are so naive. We're in the thick of all this mess.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Diane

    I see a lot of stupid and ignored comments from jobless American fellows haters, just think before you write, Saudi Arabia had been and still one of the strongest American alliance. At least they are buying old outdated machines to allow jobless haters follow Americans to work and put food on the table.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paulo

    AMERICA,
    ' CHAOS LEGION ' nation.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vic

    For many years we supported the Shah of Iran, especially with in those days, F-105, other weapons, now look what Iran is doing or planning to do, they also held 52 hostages for over 400 days, etc. We also supported and still support, Italy, yes, Italy, with a lot of modern weapons, they have for a long time resold those same weapons to North Korea, Libya, countries in South America. The point is, the more we support so called friendly nations, or allies, the more they stick it to us. We build th ACE HIGH project way back after the war, it was a defense communications project link, that passed through France, but way back in about 1950 or a bit later, France threw us out of France when they got the atomic bomb and under Charles De Gaulle, decided to go it alone in Europe during the cold war days. That chain was shut down by France even during when Premier Khrushchev was threatening war during an emergency alert, 1960. France shutting down an important communications link, isn't that sabotage or terrorism!

    September 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Who Gives A Crap

    Why do any of you care? We are selling our allies our old planes and choppers. F-15's were grounded in the last year because they were falling apart mid-flight. This is a great way to make money and get rid of some of our old gear. As for the new ones we are building for them... you can't possibly think that we are stupid enough to sell them something without a kill switch. Also, as other people have already brought up, several F-22's could take out 50 F-15's. What do you think the F-35 can do?

    September 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. proud zionist

    Saudis need these weapons for what exactly? To defend against Bin Laden? Against Dubai?

    They will transfer the weapons without any scrupels and then these same weapons will be used against the West. Just wait and see

    September 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mal

    Good deal! We need the money. They are a good ally in the Middle East and ... they pay their own way.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    People keep saying we'll give them these planes and helicopters and they'll attack us...I just want to know how exactly that would happen? 150 or so planes is no where near enough to even begin to think of going to war with the U.S. They would still be a few thousand short. Second the F-15 is considered to be pretty outdated in the american military, we have far more advanced fighter planes that we aren't going to be selling to anyone. This leads to my final point the Saudis are allies of america and have been for a long time, just because some people from that country attacked us doesn't mean the country did.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SSS

    Just to add that Saudi Arabia is an ally to the U.S..
    Saudi Arabia sells oil to the U.S with a discounted price ( a dollar less than to any other country).
    Also it continues to price oil in dollars.. which help the US economy a lot!!

    "Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, said of Saudi Arabia,
    One of the major things the Saudis have historically done, in part out of friendship with the United States, is to insist that oil continues to be priced in dollars. Therefore, the US Treasury can print money and buy oil, which is an advantage no other country has. With the emergence of other currencies and with strains in the relationship, I wonder whether there will not again be, as there have been in the past, people in Saudi Arabia who raise the question of why they should be so kind to the United States."

    Just tell me what Israel has done for the US?

    September 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riel23

      Well, let me tell you what Israel has not done to America. It has not funded terrorists who bomb our soldiers and behead innocent reporters. It did not provide 17 of the 19 terrorists who did 9/11. It does not fund and spread Wahabi Islam across the world. It does not have Islamic fundamental preachers calling for our blood. It does not amputate people for stealing. I WOULD HAVE RATHER SELL WEAPONS TO RUSSIA THAN TO SELL THEM TO SAUDI ARABIA. That way the likelihood of those weapons being used against us would be much lower.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSS

      Israeli FORCES have killed more than 8000 Palestinians using US weapons..
      Saudi FORCES have not actually killed any American. In fact, they killed terrorists, including Saudis..
      Got it!
      Those Saudi hijackers were products of the Afghan war against the Soviets which was backed and supported by the US..

      September 13, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riel23

      The Saudis gave a lot of money to the Afghans in the Afghan war against the Soviets too. The problem is that they keep giving the Afghans money to fight against us. Plus the Wahabi theology that influenced the 9/11 terrorists came straight from Saudi Arabia. Like I said, I would rather sell weapons to Russia than to Saudi Arabia.

      September 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. marcm057

    it's actually a good deal!! you weak gentiles are so ignorant im going to vomit!! we Israel are happy with this, the royal family is an ally for NOW anyways and they HATE Iran and anyone that can cut their oil profits by even a dollar, but do not worry, one mistep from the Saudis and the Us army will turn Saudi Arabia into a blazing hellish inferno.

    and for the looser that said Israel don't pay for the weapons we get from the US! i got only one answer for you! we OWN your Federal reserve. when you get a nice crispy new dollar bill from the bank teller or ATM, WE printed it., sooo yeah! we own you Period.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. zeman

    The deal is bribe to US not to press for democratic reform in Saudi Arabia.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
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