US approves Patriot sale to Saudi Arabia and THAAD sale to UAE
The US State Department has approved a possible FMS to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missiles and related equipment.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requested to buy 300 Patriot missiles at an estimated cost of $3.05 billion.
The value given is for the highest estimated quantity dollar value based on initial requirements, the actual value will be lower depending on the deal's conclusion.
The US State Department released a statement on the sale, explaining: ‘These missiles are used to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s borders against persistent Houthi cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.’
The US currently maintains a policy of a ban on the sale of offensive weaponry to Saudi Arabia, due to criticism regarding the latter's indiscriminate use of US weapons in their conflict against the Houthis resulting in high civilian casualties.
The State Department also announced its approval of a possible FMS to the UAE of 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System Missiles, THAAD Fire Control and Communications Stations and related equipment for an estimated $2.25 billion.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, the GEM-T missile is capable of operating up to a 70km range and up to a maximum altitude of 24km. The minimum flight time is less than nine seconds and the maximum is three and a half minutes.
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