The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More
August 2/19: F-15SA Advanced Electronics won a $57.8 million modification for the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA Cyber Protection System and Related Facilities program. The F-15SA multi-role fighter is a Saudi Advanced variant of the Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle. It has a modern fly-by-wire flight control system in place of the hybrid electronic/mechanical system used by previous F-15s. The variant includes the APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), infrared search and track (IRST) systems, and other advanced systems. It also includes a redesigned cockpit originally intended for the F-15SE. The fly-by-wire system will allow the carriage of weapons on the previously unused outer wing weapon stations. Work is expected to be completed by July 31, 2022.
In October 2010, talks that Saudi Arabia was negotiating a $30-60 billion arms package with the USA were made official with a full multi-billion request that included 84 F-15 Strike Eagles to replace the Kingdom’s Tornado strike aircraft and/or F-15A-D fighters, upgrades for another 70 planes, about 132 UH-60 Black Hawk utility and AH-64 attack helicopters, and armaments to equip them.
This article looks at those requests, their tie-ins, the issues that are part of these potential deals, and related follow-on requests. As is often the case with DSCA announcements, years can pass between the requests and the signed contracts, but these contracts have started to roll in, alongside other significant buys.
Quick Sales Summary
Contracts & Key Events
2015 – 2019
Appendix A: Rumors, Questions & Competitors (2010)
Wings of Eagles – Which F-15s?
What’s the Buzz – Helicopters
Foreign Affairs: Considerations and Competitors
Additional Readings & Sources
Key Equipment: Platforms
Key Equipment: Weapons & Ancillaries
News & Views
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