The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More
July 13/16: Boeing is to commence deliveries of the AH-6i Little Bird light attack/reconnaissance helicopter to the Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG) at the end of the month. The Gulf Kingdom ordered 24 Ah-6is at a cost of $243 million in 2014 as part of a wider $25.3 billion helicopter deal which includes a number of AH-64E Apaches, Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawks, and 12 MD Helicopters MD-530F. Derived from the AH-6 Little Bird, the latest version includes advanced technology from the AH-64E Apache.
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 – 2016
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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