The Saudis’ American Shopping Spree: F-15s, Helicopters & More
July 26/18: F-15 FMS Alsalam Aerospace Industries is being tapped to convert six mission capable Saudi F-15S aircraft to a F-15SA configuration. The contract has a total value of $59.6 million, of which $17.8 million will come from the US foreign military sales fund. Services include program management, conversion labor and storage. The F-15SA can be considered to be the most advanced production F-15 Eagle that is being built today. In 2015 Saudi Arabia ordered 84 new build F-15SAs and close to 70 kits to upgrade their existing F-15S fleet to the SA configuration. This configuration includes a full fly-by-wire control system, a new AESA radar, a digital electronic warfare and radar warning suite, missile launch detection system, updated flat-panel display cockpits with helmet mounted displays and an infrared search and track system. Work will be performed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is expected to be completed by August 2020.ia.
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 – 2018
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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