Briefing on Pending Major Arms Sale
Briefing on Pending Major Arms Sale
(Source: US State Department; issued Oct. 20, 2010)
Transcript of an Oct. 20 press briefing at the State Department by Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Political-Military Affairs, and Alexander Vershbow, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.


MR. TONER: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. It’s our great pleasure to have in our briefing room today the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro as well as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. Both are with us today to announce a major arms deal and to answer any of your questions. And with that, I’ll hand it over to you, Assistant Secretary.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Thank you, everyone, for coming and we are here – Ambassador Vershbow and I are here to officially announce the Administration’s plan to sell to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a significant defense package that will promote regional security and enhance the defensive capabilities of an important Gulf partner with whom we have had a longstanding and close security relationship. There have been a number of press reports since the summer anticipating this sale. And for those of you who tried to question us about it, you know that it is U.S. Government policy not to comment on any possible arms sales until formal congressional notification has taken place. Often for major arms sales such as this one, a lot of work has to be done before we can notify, including discussions within the U.S. Government, interagency bilateral discussions with the receiving government, not to mention pre-consultations with congressional staff and members.

That said, we are undertaking this sale because it supports our wider regional security goals in the Gulf by deepening our security relationship with a key partner with whom we’ve enjoyed a solid security relationship for nearly 70 years. Let me just take a couple of minutes to describe how this potential arms – we view this potential arms sale package as benefiting the United States and advancing U.S. national security. The Administration analyzed Saudi Arabia’s request for these new aircraft within the context of the U.S. Government’s conventional arms transfer policy, which outlines a criteria that includes the country’s legitimate security needs and broader security objectives.

In accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, the Secretary of State is responsible for providing continuous supervision and general direction of arms sales. This includes determining whether proposed arms sales or export of defense articles and services are authorized and ensuring that they best serve U.S. foreign policy. In practice, this responsibility falls to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher and is enacted by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is the Department’s lead for arms sales request and has worked closely on this sale with counterparts at the Department of Defense who are responsible for implementing foreign military sales such as the proposed Saudi package. I’m happy to say that we have accomplished all the hard work necessary to complete this package and this interagency effort has been a top priority for both Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton and reflects the strong cooperation between our departments to support our wider national security goals.

This morning the Defense Security Cooperation Agency transmitted to Congress four formal notifications. The most significant items in these potential FMS sales include 84 F-15 aircraft, 70 upgrades of existing Saudi F-15s to a more advanced configuration, 70 AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, 72 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, 36 AH-6i light attack helicopters, and 12 MD-530F light training helicopters.

We have hard copies of DSCA’s press release available describing in more detail the aircraft platforms and the accompanying weapons systems. DSCA plans to publish these releases on its website very shortly. (See below—Ed.)

I do want to emphasize that the dollar value of these potential sales reflects only estimates. We have worked closely with the Saudi Government to identify their full requirements and believe the proposed packages, which include aircraft munitions, support, and training services are sufficient.

Given the defense requirements being pursued by Saudi Arabia, it may choose not to fully fund all four of these programs. The final amount of the sale may well be less than the not-to-exceed estimate provided by DSCA as it will ultimately depend on what the Saudi Government decides to purchase and on the outcome of contract negotiations with industry.

This proposed sale has tremendous significance from a strategic regional perspective. It will reinforce our longstanding security partnership with Saudi Arabia, as Ambassador Vershbow will briefly discuss after my comments.

It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East. And it will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against threats to its borders and to its oil infrastructure, which is critical to our economic interests.

At the same time, we took into account how this sale is appropriate from a regional political-military perspective and concluded it would not negatively impact Israel’s security interests or Israel’s qualitative military edge, QME.

I’ll now turn it over to Ambassador Vershbow, who will have more to say about the benefits of the sale and how it advances U.S. security interests.

AMBASSADOR VERSHBOW: Thanks very much, Andrew. It’s good to see you all. After many months of work, the Department of Defense is pleased to have the Saudi aviation package now moving forward in the Congress. As Andrew said, over the last 70 years, the United States and Saudi Arabia have worked closely to establish, maintain, and develop very strong bilateral defense ties. With that seven-decade period as background, DOD takes great pride in advancing our defense relations with the Saudis through this proposed sale. Secretary Gates was pleased to have played a direct role in his engagement with King Abdullah and other Saudi leaders in coming to agreement on the proposed configuration for the F-15SA.

Before taking your questions, I’d like to just make a few specific points about why this program is important to U.S.-Saudi defense relations. First of all, we welcome Saudi Arabia’s decision to continue to strategically align itself with the United States. If approved, this program will be implemented over 15 to 20 years, which means that our defense bond with the Saudis will only continue to grow deeper and stronger.

Second, we’re pleased that the Saudis look to the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army for meeting their defense requirements. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia and we believe the capabilities being offered will provide Saudi Arabia with a strong defensive capability for generations to come.

As many of you know, for the past 20 years, the F-15 has been the cornerstone of the U.S. Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force relationship. The procurement of the new F-15SA, which stands for Saudi Advanced aircraft, and the conversion of the Saudis’ existing F-15S fleet to a common configuration and the possible training contingent in the continental U.S. will provide sustained professional contacts as well as common training and support well into the 21st century.

As for the helicopters – the Apaches, Blackhawks, and Little Birds – we believe that these versatile platforms will be able to conduct a number of critical missions in Saudi Arabia that are essential for the Kingdom’s self-defense. We foresee these helicopters providing area security for Saudi military forces, protecting the borders, and defending critical energy infrastructure sites and installations.

Lastly, this sale will enable Saudi Arabia to be more interoperable with the United States and its partners in the region. By increasing our collective capabilities, not only will our partners be able to take on greater multilateral roles, but specifically the Department of Defense will be able to free up U.S. forces in the region, maximizing the effectiveness of our global force posture. (ends)



Saudi Arabia – F-15SA Aircraft
(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Oct. 20, 2010)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of:

-- 84 F-15SA Aircraft
-- 170 APG-63(v)3 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA) radar sets
-- 193 F-110-GE-129 Improved Performance Engines
-- 100 M61 Vulcan Cannons
-- 100 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System/Low Volume Terminal (MIDS/LVT) and spares
-- 193 LANTIRN Navigation Pods (3rd Generation-Tiger Eye)
-- 338 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
-- 462 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVGS)
-- 300 AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Missiles
-- 25 Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-9X)
-- 25 Special Air Training Missiles (NATM-9X)
-- 500 AIM-120C/7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
-- 25 AIM-120 CATMs
-- 1,000 Dual Mode Laser/Global Positioning System (GPS) Guided Munitions (500 lb)
-- 1,000 Dual Mode Laser/GPS Guided Munitions (2000 lb)
-- 1,100 GBU-24 PAVEWAY III Laser Guided Bombs (2000 lb)
-- 1,000 GBU-31B V3 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) (2000 lb)
-- 1,300 CBU-105D/B Sensor Fuzed Weapons (SFW)/Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD)
-- 50 CBU-105 Inert
-- 1,000 MK-82 500lb General Purpose Bombs
-- 6,000 MK-82 500lb Inert Training Bombs
-- 2,000 MK-84 2000lb General Purpose Bombs
-- 2,000 MK-84 2000lb Inert Training Bombs
-- 200,000 20mm Cartridges
-- 400,000 20mm Target Practice Cartridges
-- 400 AGM-84 Block II HARPOON Missiles
-- 600 AGM-88B HARM Missiles
-- 169 Digital Electronic Warfare Systems (DEWS)
-- 158 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Targeting Systems
-- 169 AN/AAS-42 Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Systems
-- 10 DB-110 Reconnaissance Pods
-- 462 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System Helmets
-- 40 Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receivers (ROVER)
-- 80 Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation Pods.

Also included are the upgrade of the existing Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) fleet of seventy (70) F-15S multi-role fighters to the F-15SA configuration, the provision for CONUS-based fighter training operations for a twelve (12) F-15SA contingent, construction, refurbishments, and infrastructure improvements of several support facilities for the F-15SA in-Kingdom and/or CONUS operations, RR-188 Chaff, MJU-7/10 Flares, training munitions, Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices, communication security, site surveys, trainers, simulators, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The estimated cost is $29.432 billion.

This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by strengthening our on-going strategically important relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

For the past twenty years the F-15 has been a cornerstone of the relationship between the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the RSAF. The procurement of the F-15SA, the conversion of the F-15S fleet to a common configuration, and the CONUS training contingent will provide interoperability, sustained professional contacts, and common ground for training and support well into the 21st century.

The F-15SA will help deter potential aggressors by increasing Saudi’s tactical air force capability to defend KSA against regional threats. The CONUS-based contingent would improve interoperability between the USAF and the RSAF. This approach will meet Saudi’s self-defense requirements and continue to foster the long-term military-to-military relationship between the United States and the KSA. Saudi Arabia, which currently has the F-15 in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing the F-15SA aircraft into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this service will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded. (ends)

Saudi Arabia – AH-64D APACHE, UH-60M BLACKHAWK, AH-6i Light Attack, and MD-530F Light Turbine Helicopters
(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Oct. 20, 2010)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of:

-- 36 AH-64D Block III APACHE Helicopters
-- 72 UH-60M BLACKHAWK Helicopters
-- 36 AH-6i Light Attack Helicopters
-- 12 MD-530F Light Turbine Helicopters
-- 243 T700-GE-701D Engines
-- 40 Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems/Pilot Night Vision Sensors
-- 20 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars with Radar Electronics Unit
-- 20 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometer
-- 171 AN/APR-39 Radar Signal Detecting Sets
-- 171 AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Sets
-- 171 AAR-57(V)3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems
-- 318 Improved Countermeasures Dispensers
-- 40 Wescam MX-15Di (AN/AAQ-35) Sight/Targeting Sensors
-- 40 GAU-19/A 12.7mm (.50 caliber) Gatling Guns
-- 108 Improved Helmet Display Sight Systems
-- 52 30mm Automatic Weapons
-- 18 Aircraft Ground Power Units
-- 168 M240H Machine Guns
-- 300 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles
-- 421 M310 A1 Modernized Launchers
-- 158 M299 HELLFIRE Longbow Missile Launchers
-- 2,592 AGM-114R HELLFIRE II Missiles
-- 1,229 AN/PRQ-7 Combat Survivor Evader Locators
-- 4 BS-1 Enhanced Terminal Voice Switches
-- 4 Digital Airport Surveillance Radars
-- 4 Fixed-Base Precision Approach Radar
-- 4 DoD Advanced Automation Service
-- 4 Digital Voice Recording Systems.

Also included are trainers, simulators, generators, munitions, design and construction, transportation, wheeled vehicles and organization equipment, tools and test equipment, communication equipment, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems, GPS/INS, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of program support.

The estimated cost is $25.6 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The Saudi Arabian National Guard will use the AH-64D for its national security and protecting its borders and oil infrastructure. The proposed sale will provide for the defense of vital installations and will provide close air support for the Saudi military ground forces. This sale also will increase the Saudi National Guard’s APACHE sustainability and interoperability with the U.S. Army, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and other coalition forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be:
-- The Boeing Company Mesa, Arizona
-- Lockheed Martin Corporation Orlando, Florida
-- Sikorsky Aircraft West Palm Beach, Florida
-- MD Helicopters Mesa Arizona
-- General Electric Company Cincinnati, Ohio
-- Lockheed Martin Millimeter Technology Owego, New York
-- Longbow Limited Liability Corporation Orlando, Florida
-- ITT Aerospace/Communications Fort Wayne, Indiana

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale requires the assignment of approximately 900 contractor representatives and 30 U.S. Government personnel on a full time basis in Saudi Arabia for a period of 15 years. Also, this program will require multiple trips to Saudi Arabia involving U.S. government and contractor personnel to participate in annual, technical reviews, training, and one-week Program Reviews in Saudi Arabia.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded. (ends)
Saudi Arabia – AH-64D Longbow Helicopters, Engines and Night Vision Sensors
(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Oct. 20, 2010)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of:
-- 10 AH-64D Block III APACHE Longbow Helicopters
-- 28 T700-GE-701D Engines
-- 13 Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems/Pilot Night Vision Sensors
-- 7 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars with Radar Electronics Unit (Longbow Component)
-- 7 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometer
-- 13 AN/APR-39 Radar Signal Detecting Sets
-- 13 AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Sets
-- 13 AAR-57(V)3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems
-- 26 Improved Countermeasures Dispensers
-- 26 Improved Helmet Display Sight Systems
-- 14 30mm Automatic Weapons
-- 6 Aircraft Ground Power Units
-- 14 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles
-- 640 AGM-114R HELLFIRE II Missiles
-- 2,000 2.75 in 70mm Laser Guided Rockets
-- 307 AN/PRQ-7 Combat Survivor Evader Locators

-- 1 BS-1 Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch
--1 Fixed-Base Precision Approach Radar
-- 1 Digital Airport Surveillance Radar
-- 1 DoD Advanced Automation Service
-- 1 Digital Voice Recording System

Also included are trainers, simulators, generators, training munitions, design and construction, transportation, tools and test equipment, ground and air based SATCOM and line of sight communication equipment, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems, GPS/INS, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of program support.

The estimated cost is $2.223 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The Saudi Arabian Royal Guard will use the AH-64D to improve its ability to effectively protect its borders, and vital installations. This sale also will increase the Royal Guard’s APACHE sustainability and interoperability with the U.S. Army, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and other coalition forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be:
-- The Boeing Company Mesa, Arizona
-- Lockheed Martin Corporation Orlando, Florida
-- General Electric Company Cincinnati, Ohio
-- Lockheed Martin Millimeter Technology Owego, New York
-- Longbow Limited Liability Corporation Orlando, Florida

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of an additional 35 U.S. Government and 150 contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia. At present, there are approximately 250 U.S. Government personnel and 630 contractor representatives in Saudi Arabia supporting the modernization program. Also, this program will require multiple trips to Saudi Arabia involving U.S. government and contractor personnel to participate in annual, technical reviews, training, and one-week Program Reviews in Saudi Arabia.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded. (ends)
Saudi Arabia – AH-64D APACHE Longbow Helicopters
(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Oct. 20, 2010)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia of:

-- 24 AH-64D Block III APACHE Longbow Helicopters
-- 58 T700-GE-701D Engines
-- 27 Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems/Pilot Night Vision Sensors
-- 10 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars with Radar Electronics Unit (Longbow Component)
-- 10 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometer
-- 27 AN/APR-39 Radar Signal Detecting Sets
-- 27 AN/AVR-2B Laser Warning Sets
-- 27 AAR-57(V)3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems
-- 54 Improved Countermeasures Dispensers
-- 28 30mm Automatic Weapons
-- 6 Aircraft Ground Power Units
-- 48 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles
-- 106 M299A1 HELLFIRE Longbow Missile Launchers
-- 24 HELLFIRE Training Missiles
-- 1,536 AGM-114R HELLFIRE II Missiles
-- 4,000 2.75 in 70mm Laser Guided Rockets
-- 307 AN/PRQ-7 Combat Survivor Evader Locators

-- 1 BS-1 Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch
-- 1 Fixed-Base Precision Approach Radar
-- 1 Digital Airport Surveillance Radar
-- 1 DoD Advanced Automation Service
-- 1 Digital Voice Recording System

Also included are trainers, simulators, generators, training munitions, design and construction, transportation, tools and test equipment, ground and air based SATCOM and line of sight communication equipment, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems, GPS/INS, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of program support.

The estimated cost is $3.3 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) will use the AH-64D for its national security and to protect its borders and vital installations. This sale also will increase the RSLF’s APACHE sustainability and interoperability with the U.S. Army, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and other coalition forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be:
-- The Boeing Company Mesa, Arizona
-- Lockheed Martin Corporation Orlando, Florida
-- General Electric Company Cincinnati, Ohio
-- Lockheed Martin Millimeter Technology Owego, New York
-- Longbow Limited Liability Corporation Orlando, Florida

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of an additional 35 U.S. Government and 130 contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia. At present, there are approximately 250 U.S. Government personnel and 630 contractor representatives in Saudi Arabia supporting the modernization program. Also, this program will require multiple trips involving U.S. government and contractor personnel to participate in annual, technical reviews, training, and one-week Program Reviews in Saudi Arabia.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

-ends-




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