Pentagon approves $500m military sale to Saudi Arabia

The Pentagon has authorized a potential arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $500 million in order to help the kingdom sustain its arsenal of armored vehicles with spare parts and maintenance, according to the US State Department.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangement (CLSSA) Program, Foreign Military Sales Order (FMSO) II, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $500 million,” US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced in a statement on Thursday.

Under the CLSSA Agreement, the Pentagon will deliver spares and parts for vehicles to the Kingdom, including its fleet of Abrams tanks, M-60 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, Mine Resistance Ambush Protected vehicles, Light Armored Vehicles, howitzers, among a diverse range of military equipment, the statement said.

Other equipment covered includes TOW missile launchers, radar systems and communications equipment and other related elements of logistics and program support, according to the DSCA.

“This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by supporting a strategic partner’s self-defense and promoting stability in [West Asia]” and will “maintain Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by allowing the Royal Saudi Land Force (RSLF) to continue to purchase needed spare/repair parts through their current CLSSA program,” the statement said.

The RSLF has participated in the CLSSA program since 1965.

Any military pact with the kingdom would require support from two-thirds of the 100-person US Senate, which seems to be a tall order as the legislative body is torn evenly between the two major American political parties.

However, the previous $500 million military support was granted when relations between Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and President Joe Biden were tense.

The package comes on the back of continued negotiations over a potential normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime, mediated by the US.

Israel is “at the cusp” of establishing formal diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia by finalizing a US-brokered breakthrough peace agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday.

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