Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy about $7 billion worth of precision guided munitions from US defense contractors, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Thursday.
Raytheon Co and Boeing Co are the companies selected, the sources said, in a deal that was part of a $110 billion weapons agreement that coincided with US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May.
The US State Department has yet to formally notify Congress of the precision guided munitions deal.
“We do not comment to confirm or deny sales until they are formally notified to Congress,” a State Department official said, adding the US government will take into account factors “including regional balance and the impact on the US defense industrial base.”
The Yemen civil war pits Iran-allied Houthi terrorists against the government backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman declined to comment on the specific sale, but said in a statement his country will follow through on the agreements signed during Trump’s visit.
He said that while the kingdom has always chosen the United States for weapons purchases, “... Saudi Arabia’s market selection remains a choice and is committed to defending its security.”
Trump, a Republican who views weapons sales as a way to create jobs in the United States, has announced billions of dollars in arms sales since taking office in January.