The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More
November 12/20: Modernization And Sustainment Boeing won a $9.8 billion deal for F-15 support for Saudi Arabia. This contract provides for modernization and sustainment of the F-15 Saudi fleet to include such efforts as hardware, software, and interface design, development, integration, test, subsystem and structural component production and installation of future modifications and enhancements to the F-15 Saudi weapon system as well as product support. Per the contract, the ordering period for this contract is five years from the date of contract award plus an option for an additional five year ordering period. Saudi Arabia’s most modern F-15s are 88 new-build F-15SAs, with an average age of just 5.1 years. In addition to fly-by wire controls, the F-15SA has a digital electronic warfare suite, an infrared search and track system and a Raytheon APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array radar. The aircraft’s forward and aft cockpits feature advanced displays and joint helmet-mounted cueing systems. The new F-15 variant also has two additional wing weapons stations to boost its payload. Work will take place in St. Louis. Estimated completion will be by November 2025.
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 – 2020
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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