Saudi Arabia Requests $631M in LAVs, Equipment
In July 2006, “The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: A Hardened, Networked National Guard” explained the SANG’s importance within the Saudi political structure, and covered a $5.8 billion request for LAVs wheeled armored personnel carriers, weapons, and C4ISR equipment to modernize that force. That official DSCA request has yet to be followed by a contract; when we talked to GDLS in October 2007, they said that negotiations were underway, and that they expect to complete a deal some time in 2008.
In the meantime, a second request for LAVs, Hummers, trucks, and weapons has been submitted. At $600+ million, the October 2007 request on behalf of the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation is comparatively small. Barring some unforseen Congressional resolution within 30 days, the clock can begin ticking on negotiations for a second set of LAVs and related equipment for different branch of the Saudi armed forces.
Oct 4/07: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] a second, smaller formal request from Saudi Arabia for Light Armored Vehicles and High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles, as well as associated equipment and services. The LAV is already the Saudi Arabian National Guard’s (SANG) prime armored vehicle, and appear slated to remain so into the future. As such, buying additional LAVs for other branches of the Saudi armed forces offers interoperability improvements. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $631 million.
“The proposed sale of Light Armored Vehicles will provide a highly mobile, light combat vehicle capability enabling Saudi Arabia to rapidly identify, engage, and defeat perimeter security threats and readily employ counter and anti-terrorism measures. The vehicles will enhance the stability and security operations for boundaries and territorial areas encompassing the Arabian Peninsula.”
As with all DSCA announcements, Congress now has 30 days to act in order to forbid the sale, or a contract can be drawn up at a future date for these items. The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of:
- 48 LAV-PC (standard personnel carriers)
- 26 LAV-25 (personnel carrier with 25mm canon)
- 37 LAV-AG (assault gun version with 90mm cannon)
- 5 LAV – Reconnaissance (with advanced sensors; Canada has a specialized version called the Coyote)
- 5 LAV-A (ambulances)
- 3 LAV-R (recovery, equipped with crane et. al. to pull other vehicles free, tow, etc.)
- 25 M1165A1 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV, made by AM General)
- 25 M1165A1 HMMWV with winch
- 124 M240 7.62mm Machine Guns
- 525 AN/PVS-7D Night Vision Goggles (NVGs)
- Various M978A2 and M984A2 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT heavy trucks, made by Oshkosh)
- Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks (FMTV, the US Army’s standard medium trucks, made by BAE Stewart & Stevenson)
- 120mm Mortar Towed
- M242 25mm guns, which can equip the LAV-25s. Made by ATK.
- Spare and repair parts; sets, kits, and outfits; support equipment; publications and technical data; personnel training and training equipment; contractor engineering and technical support services and other related elements of logistics support.
The prime contractor is General Dynamics Land Systems of Sterling Heights, MI. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, and implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Global Security.org – Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). Covers assorted variants as well.
- DID (July 25/06) – The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: A Hardened, Networked National Guard
- The Peninsula of Qatar (July 24/06) – Saudi raises defence spending
- Tribune-Libanaise (June 22/06) – The Geopolitics of Weapons Procurement in the Gulf States. Excellent analysis. A must-read.