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. Richard

    Well, we have a history of selling arms to others and then years later they use it against us, we destroy their country and we pay billions and billions to re-build it for them.......It's like Age of Empires with the take over option.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Well...it has been fun trying to decipher the atrocious grammar of 80% of the posters, but it is down right embarrassing that you all use the terms "friend" and "enemy" when discussing weapons deals between countries. We have been selling weapons and technological apparatus to the Saudis for years...the key concept here is "balance of power". where this gets confusing is that Saudi Arabia is only second in monetary donation to so-called "terror" groups to the US. Now, as you scratch your collective scalp, consider the fact that while most weaponry used in war comes from government and large business interest, most of the money and popular support comes from expats and sympathizers in wealthier countries (Sri Lanka, Palestine, Afghanistan, Philippines, Angola, Nicaragua, Ireland, and more). A reason one might consider the Kingdom of Saud an enemy is that not only do they provide monetary support to Al Quaeda and Hamas in Israel, but their entertainment media as well as certain elements in the press are virulently anti America/Israel/anything unmuslimish. While it is unfair to paint with a large brush in any anthropological debate, be it socio-political or ethno-religious, one would be justified in questioning why we are giving dependable and effective attack fighter platforms to a nation that could have a radical policy reversal in a relatively short time (in counter point Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, India). I do not make any assertions that i know the future or that i know more about game theory than you, but i would like to point out that our brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends are getting attacked with ordinance that has a 30-75% chance of being ours or bought with our money.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Master Chief

    after reading POINTLESS commitse made by not smart people, i have made a conclusion that i am the smartest human alive. ahahahahahahheheheehehhahahaahhaha. saudi is not our enemy, arbitar is duh. oh so is john

    September 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. arbitar

    really master chief you are the dumbest person alive. you tried calling john on his new phone not long ago. shouldnt you be playing you in Halo: Reach. oh yeah your contract with Bungie ended like 2 years ago. hahahahahahaheheheheheehhahahahahah i think i win

    September 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saudi arabia

    yes me and barrack obama talked for long time. i understand that we are taking old technology but as you can see we live in the dessert. a freakin gamestop is what we wanted but nooooooooooh we can only get weapons and such and such. you know how hard it was to get Halo: Reach.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Benyamin

    I don`t believe Saudie Arabia is a freind of US. I believe they are more like a slave. I wonder why they buy so many and so much weapons where no one is threatneing them. Unless, it is them that are ventuing of attacking some countries in thier neighbourhood!!! I believe that country is Iran if they do. I also think that is that happens, Iran will leave nothing the same in Saudie Arabia with mosques or not. That land DOES NOT BELONG TO A FAMILY BUT TO A NATION of ISLAM

    September 15, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. MO

    LOL... i thought thiis day would never come.. SAUDI ARABIANS providing jobs to the AMERICANS.... 75,000 JOBS FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS.. LOL

    September 15, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. NMEast

    I don't trust any country in the Middle East as far as I can throw them. This is a bad idea. What happens when some radical religious group manages to take over Saudi Arabia and decides to start a war with the U.S.? Don't laugh, I can see it coming due to the state of the Middle East. We will have already armed them with some great equipment. The people of the U.S. should be able to have a say in this kind of deal – I would say NO.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mr A

    Fact: 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
    Fact: Osama Bin Laden is a Saudi national.
    Fact: Bin Laden is related to the Saudi royal family (and as a Canadian who has lived in Dubai for 11 years, I can say that anyone who knows Arab culture would know how much they value kinship).

    But all this doesn't matter. The fact that matters is: Saudi Arabia gives us the oil that is the bread and butter of this country's economy, and without it we'd have to go back to the 1800s (and no, given the current situation, from a realistic perspective we can't make up for it with 'renewable/alternative energy sources' – so stop the idealist ranting), and that's why we have to kiss up to them no matter what they do. Btw did you know that Saudi Arabia has invested 7% of this nation's entire economy (and that percentage has gone up significantly since the recession).

    Now, which of you true Americans are down for bombing out some Iraqis or Afghanis?

    September 17, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. frankwright

    Saudi Arabia is clearly a fundamentalist Muslim tyrannical regime (no free speech or political parties, repression of women, other religions, brutal Shariah law…) and strengthening them, or the terrorists with whom some of these arms may end up, is a horrific prospect.
    However, supplying it weapons can be a good idea, assuming the weapons can be instantly disabled if they are used against US interests and allies (say by hidden and exposed satellite control chips), and if the Saudis are absolutely reliant on continued US technical support and maintenance. This helps create and maintain US jobs and ensures that the US is extensively familiar with Saudi capabilities.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. cretaceous1

    Above Obama's other huge and ignorant actions such as the beer party for the cop and the mad black professor in the rose garden, perpetuating off-shore oil drilling after promising prior to his election that he would NOT do that, sending additonal troops to Afghanistan, now we have this lame and imbecillic action of selling more arms to our OUTRIGHT most insane and biggest enemies...the ARABS. What is next on the plate of this outlandishly foolish little boy that we have as our president???

    September 20, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    Look at the items in the proposed sale...this is not cutting edge technology. It's giving a Middle Eastern ally weapons better than their neighbors but far worse than ours. Makes a lot of sense, really.

    Not to mention the $$ and the jobs.

    September 20, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cash For Gold Colchester

    Hello,
    Democracy is suppose to be where everyone profits from Their work!!! Communist is where the Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorier..Saudi schools brain washes students Its not Islam its Wahabi, strict strict Islam..they teach them that. Who funds all the wars, its saudis people... Afghanistan, Madrassas in Pakistan, Hamas.... Keep going.
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    October 14, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
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    October 15, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sanh

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    October 15, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
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