The US Department of Defense has announced Pentagon™s plan for selling missiles and “bunker-buster” bombs to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in two separate deals worth $11.8 billion.
The Pentagon said on Thursday that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of both proposed contracts this week, UPI reported.
“This proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future regional threats,” according to the agency.
“These munitions will strengthen the effectiveness and interoperability of the air force of a potential coalition partner, enhancing the coalition operation,” it said.
According to the deal, Saudi Arabia will buy a thousand bunker-buster GBU-39 bombs and the UAE will buy 5,000 GBU-39/B small diameter bombs (SDB) with BRU-61 carriage systems.
Saudi Arabia is due to receive $6.8 billion in arms and the UAE an estimated value of $5 billion.
Air-launched cruise missiles, hundreds of Standoff Land Attack missiles, or SLAM-ERs, and Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOW) are also included in the deal. The weapons are designed for use by US-made F-15 and F-16 fighter jets previously purchased by both countries.
With Congress agreement to the US foreign military sale to the Persian Gulf states, principle contractors would be Boeing and Raytheon.
In August, the Cluster Munition Coalition denounced the United States for planning to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.
œWe are disappointed with the US decision to export cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as both countries acknowledge the negative humanitarian impact of these weapons on civilians,” CMC Director Sarah Blakemore said.
œCluster munitions have been banned by more than half the world™s nations so any transfer goes against the international rejection of these weapons,” she added.
The United States and its Middle Eastern ally have refused to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the production, transfer, use, and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
Saudi Arabia and the US are amongst the twelve countries that have used cluster munitions in the past (US in multiple locations; Saudi Arabia against Iraq in 1991).
Copyright: Press TV