Saudi Arabia has signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system, taking a significant step toward closing a $15 billion deal, a US State Department spokesperson says.
The State Department spokesperson, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the Saudis and US officials signed the crucial government-to-government document earlier this week, paving the way for the massive sale of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.
The State Department spokesman said the deal supports the “long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the [Persian] Gulf region” in the face of regional threats.
Washington and Riyadh entered formal discussions for THAAD in December 2016. A Saudi official told Reuters in October that the deal could well be closed by the end of the year.
Congressional approval for the THAAD missile defense system sale was given in…