The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More

April 21/21: ESTS The Advanced Electronics won a contract modification for the F-15 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Electronic System Test Set (ESTS). Services acquired under this effort are to provide the RSAF with an upgraded ESTS. The RSAF currently uses an A31U18240-2 ESTS configuration, and this shall provide the scope to upgrade and install the A31U18240-3 and A31U18240-4 configuration (frequently referred to as -3 and -4, respectively), as well as familiarization training, regression testing, and travel. Work will be performed at the RSAF Central Maintenance Facilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Science and Engineering facility in Huntsville, Alabama; and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and is expected to be completed April 16, 2021.


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F-15S & weapons (click to view full) 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 US Foreign Military Sale requests are required to be fairly public, beginning with US Department of State DSCA announcements. Even so, some contract disclosures and clarification can require the permission of the customer, and Saudi Arabia’s preference is not to give that. As such, items whose orders have not been publicly announced may be farther along in the process than the above chart indicates. The Saudis are upgrading their air and missile defenses using American equipment, but that […]

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