The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More
January 6/21: F-15SA Conversion Boeing won a $21.7 million contract for F-15S to F-15SA conversion support. This contract provides support for the conversion of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S into an F-15SA aircraft, which includes program management, reach-back support for the 48 continental United States and Washington, DC; temporary on-site for outside the continental US assistance; and round robin repairs. An advanced version of the F-15S, the F-15SA is equipped with several capabilities to enable the Royal Saudi Air Force to deter regional threats. The aircraft features a digital electronic warfare suite, fly-by-wire flight control system, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, an infrared search-and-track system, advanced cockpit displays and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems. In early December, it was reported that the Royal Saudi Air Force has received the F-15SA advanced fighter aircraft, marking the final delivery of the Boeing-produced aircraft as part of a $29 billion foreign military sales agreement signed in 2010. Work will take place in Missouri and estimated completion date is December 30, 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 – Today
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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