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Twin FMS deals support ballistic missile defence in Saudi Arabia and UAE

4th February 2022 - 11:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have each requested FMS deals to support their respective missile defence systems such as THAAD (pictured). (Photo: US Army/Capt Adan Cazarez)

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are requesting missile defence equipment from the US under the FMS programme.

The State Department has approved two potential FMS deals to help US allies in the Middle East enhance and maintain their ballistic missile defence systems, on the same day that it gave the green light to a $4.21 billion FMS package for Jordan.

Saudi Arabia is requesting 31 units of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade 2 (BU2) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $23.7 million, to operate with the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system.

Data Link Solutions manufactures MIDS-LVT BU2 but a prime contractor for the Saudi FMS will only be confirmed once a Letter of Acceptance is signed, the State Department noted on 3 February.

‘The proposed sale will provide the Saudi armed forces with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to ‘protect Saudi Arabia, and the region, from the destabilising effects of terrorism, countering Iranian influence, and other threats’, the State Department noted on 3 February.

The BU2 terminals would be added to a previous $3 million FMS case for MIDS-LVT Block Upgrade 1 (BU1) terminals. Previously provided BU1 terminals for Saudi Arabia were installed on Patriot batteries.

Similarly, the State Department has also approved an extra $35 million on top of a previous $30 million FMS deal to fund common spares and repair parts for UAE-operated MIM-23 Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) SAM missile, Patriot and THAAD systems.

‘The amended FMS case would extend the funding to cover an additional three years,’ the State Department noted.

It added that the revised FMS order aligns with US Central Command (CENTCOM) planning and would support existing capabilities in the UAE to ‘deter and defend against hostile threats’ by maintaining the operational readiness of critical air defence systems.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have each suffered repeated missile and UAV attacks from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Most recently, on 31 January, the UAE said it intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen.

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