Despite the Kingdom’s severe and unprecedented economic crisis, it revealed the disclosure of a new military deal recently concluded by the Saudi regime with the United States of America with a value of more than two billion dollars to supply more than a thousand air-to-surface missiles and anti-ship missiles to the Kingdom.
The Pentagon stated that Boeing will supply the Kingdom with more than 1,000 missiles, with 650 SLAM ER missiles – and 402 Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
A statement issued by the Pentagon stated that the Saudi regime signed a contract with the company with $1.971 billion to develop and transfer 650 missiles (SLAM ER) to the Kingdom, knowing that the range of these missiles reaches 270 km, and the deal is expected to be completed until December 2028.
As for the export of (Harpoon) missiles, it will take place within another contract, amounting to $656.98 million. The range of these missiles is 125 km.
The “Salam-ER” is air-to-surface missiles guided by the global positioning system “GPS” and has a range of approximately 290 km. That contract is due to be completed by December 2028.
Boeing said in a separate statement that the two new contracts guarantee the continuation of the “Harpoon” program until 2026, and the re-launch of the Salam-ER production line.
A week ago, the US administration confirmed press reports that Washington was in the process of withdrawing two Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia that they had sent in the aftermath of the attack on Saudi oil installations last year, in addition to US combat aircraft and military personnel.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the reports, but said that this did not indicate a decline in US support for Saudi Arabia, nor was it an attempt to pressure Riyadh on oil issues.
These developments came within a delicate stage in the relations between Washington and Riyadh, where the atmosphere was strained by the Saudi-Russian war in the global oil markets, which was one of the reasons for the price collapse and severely damaged American oil companies.
Recently, an international report revealed that the Saudi regime wasted billions of dollars in arms deals in an effort to strengthen its relations with Western countries, especially the United States of America.
The annual report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies showed that global military expenditures increased by four percent in 2019, the largest increase recorded in nearly a decade.
“These expenditures increased with the exit of the economies from the 2008 financial crisis,” said John Shipman, director of the institute, when presenting the report on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
The United States topped the country with 685 billion dollars, and China with 181 billion dollars. Together, the two countries increased 6.6 percent in 2019, compared to 2018.
The Kingdom ranked third with a record amounting to 78.4 billion dollars, to jump in the list at the expense of large countries such as Russia, India, Britain, France, Japan and Germany.
The Kingdom ranks first among the countries that import most of the weapons, while the United States leads the countries that export arms.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Siberian), in March 2019, the United States has exported more than a third of global weapons over the past five years, reinforcing its role as the world’s largest arms seller.
In its report, the institute said that more than half of US sales went to the Middle East, where the Kingdom alone received 22% of total US sales.
He also said that the Kingdom was the largest importer of weapons in the world during this period; where it accounted for 12% of global imports.
The Kingdom has 848 military aircraft. Including 244 interceptor combat aircraft, 325 attack aircraft, 49 military transport aircraft, in addition to 207 military training aircraft, as well as 254 military helicopters and 34 attack helicopters.
It also owns 1062 tanks, 11,100 armored combat vehicles, along with 705 self-propelled artillery and 1,818 trailer artillery, while the number of missile launchers is only 122.