Congress Asked to Approve $1.1 Billion Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Monday of plans to sell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) system upgrade, along with necessary maintenance services, equipments, parts, and training, valued at approximately $1.1 billion.
Specific components of the C4I system upgrade in question will include:
- Global Command and Control Systems -- Joint.
- 109 Link-16 Multifunction Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminals, or MIDS-LVT.
- Identification Friend or Foe, or IFF, units.
- Commercial Satellite Communications systems.
- Commercial High Frequency radios.
- Commercial Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency radios.
- Several other types of electronic equipment.
DSCA did not identify any single defense contractor as the principal contractor in this deal. Many of the items noted on the Saudi shopping list are, in fact, manufactured by multiple companies. For example, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems have a joint venture that builds MIDS-LVTs; BAE and Raytheon both manufacture IFF components. DSCA indicated that the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Weapons Command will be responsible for acquisition and integration of the necessary equipment to complete this sale if it is approved.
DSCA explained that the proposed sale is aimed at improving Royal Saudi Naval Forces' current C4I system, thus improving the RSNF's ability to effectively protect Saudi Arabia's "coastal strategic assets."
DSCA assured Congress that sale of this equipment and support "will not alter the basic military balance in the region." Nor will it have any "adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness."
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