Pentagon Announces New Military Sales to Saudi Arabia
Jul. 11, 1991
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Pentagon said Thursday it had closed new deals with Saudi Arabia for sales of Hum-Vee military vehicles and contractor services for the Saudi fleet of tanker aircraft and AWACS command and control airplanes.
The planned sales are the latest in a series of U.S. deals with Middle Eastern countries announced by the Defense Department since the end of the Persian Gulf War.
The Saudis are to buy 2,300 Hum-Vees, the successor to the Jeep, as part of a $123 million package that includes spare parts, support equipment and a U.S. training team.
The Hum-Vee, made by the AM General Division of LTV Corp., is a 1 -ton, four-wheel-drive vehicle that can be used to carry troops or munitions and can be affixed with a TOW anti-tank missile launcher.
The Pentagon announcement said Saudi Arabia ''needs these vehicles to help modernize its armed forces and to provide an all-terrain mode of transportation for its ground forces.''
In a separate deal valued at $350 million, the Saudis agreed to buy Boeing Co. support services for their existing fleet of E-3A airborne warning and control, or AWACS, aircraft and their KE-3 aerial refueling tanker aircraft, the Pentagon said.
Boeing, which made the five AWACS and eight KE-3 tankers in the Saudi fleets, is to provide maintenance, personnel training and an expansion of support staff at Saudi air bases ''to ensure continued operational readiness'' of the specialized airplanes, the Pentagon said.
Boeing has been servicing the AWACS planes since Saudi Arabia bought them in 1981.
A senior Defense Department official speaking on condition of anonymity said last week that the Saudis have expressed interest in buying more AWACS aircraft although no deal has been announced.
The Pentagon said Congress has been formally notified of both deals announced Thursday. As with any foreign purchase of U.S. military equipment, Congress can reject either of the deals if both houses pass a resolution against them within 30 days.
Some in Congress are pressing for a complete U.S. cutoff of arms sales to the Middle East in the wake of the Gulf War but the Bush administration says it will continue selling items that meet the legitimate security needs of friendly nations.