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Saudi Arabia signs multiple U.S. arms deals
Saudi Arabia is buying around 50 Boeing Chinooks. © Boeing

Saudi Arabia signs multiple U.S. arms deals

During a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia has concluded a major series of mostly defence-related agreements with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Saudi Arabia has concluded a wide-ranging series of defence and commercial agreements with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon on the occasion of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on 20th-21st May. The deals — potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars — were part of a broad set of agreements between U.S. firms and Saudi institutions.

The agreements with Boeing include:

• purchase of Chinook helicopters and associated support services as well as guided weapon systems,

• plans to order P-8 maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft,

• a joint US/Saudi venture to provide sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms,

• a commercial registration certificate for the Saudi Rotorcraft Support Company, a newly formed joint venture between Boeing, Alsalam Aerospace Industries and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries with bases in both Riyadh and Jeddah that will provide support for both military and commercial helicopters,

• an agreement between Boeing and SaudiGulf Airlines to negotiate the sale of up to 16 widebody airplanes.

The agreement with Lockheed Martin involves the planned procurement of more than $28bn worth of integrated air and missile defense, combat ship, tactical aircraft and rotary wing technologies and programmes.

The agreement includes:

• Letters of Offer and Acceptance and a Memorandum of Intent covering government-to-government sales of Lockheed Martin programmes to include integrated air and missile defence systems, multi-mission surface combatant ships, radar systems, surveillance systems, tactical aircraft and rotary wing programmes.

• A Letter of Intent, between Lockheed Martin and Taqnia, to form a joint venture to support final assembly and completion of an estimated 150 S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters for the Saudi government.

• A Memorandum of Understanding between Lockheed Martin and Saudi Arabian Military Industries for the parties to work together to build defence capabilities in Saudi Arabia to support Vision 2030 and provide for localization efforts associated with Multi-mission Surface Combatants and Aerostats.

In a separate agreement, Raytheon announced a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia Military Industries to cooperate on defence-related projects and technology development.

Raytheon also announced plans to establish Raytheon Arabia, a Saudi legal entity wholly-owned by Raytheon that will focus on implementing programmes to create indigenous defence, aerospace and security capabilities in the Kingdom. The new company will be based in Riyadh and is expected to include in-country programme management, supply and sourcing capabilities, improved customer access and centralized accountability.

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