US in $123bn arms deal with Persian Gulf states
The US plans to reinforce Arab military power by securing massive arms deals with four Persian Gulf littoral states estimated at an unprecedented amount of USD 123 billion.
The deal with Saudi Arabia worth USD 67 billion is the largest of a package of US arms deals with Persian Gulf states.
The first phase of the agreement, which is yet to be approved by Congress, is estimated at USD 30 billion, The Financial Times reported on Monday.
Under the deal, Saudi Arabia will receive 85 new F-15 jet fighters while another 70 of its fleet will be upgraded, the report said.
The upcoming US deals with Arab countries in the Persian Gulf are widely seen as part of Washington’s “Iranophobia” campaign aimed at countering Tehran’s growing influence in the region.
Other Persian Gulf states which are to receive US arms include the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.
Theodore Karasik, from the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, said that the United Arab Emirates had signed contracts to buy military equipment worth between USD 35 billion and USD 40 billion.
The US will also strike a 12-billion-dollar deal with Oman and a 7-billion-dollar with Kuwait by the end of 2014, according to Blenheim Capital Partners, a consultancy that arranges offset deals. The two Arab states will receive upgraded and new command and control systems under the contract.
The total value of the arms deals is estimated at USD122.88 billion.