Stop Fundamentalism – Saudi Arabia has accepted an offer to purchase 84 F-15 fighter jets from the United States. The deal is aimed at improving Saudi’s military capabilities in the Middle East region, says an Obama administration official.
According to this contract 84 new fighter jets and also upgrades, munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance, and logistics will be provided for the 70 F-15 jets the Saudi Arabia already owns, will be delivered, Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro in a State Department Special Briefing .
“These F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by the Boeing company, will be among the most sophisticated and capable aircrafts in the world,” said Shapiro to the reporters. “The sale is worth $29.4 billion.”
The two countries have a larger contract valued at $60 Billion which includes the sale of helicopters, a wide range of missiles, bombs and remote control systems and also warning systems and nigh vision equipment.
The contract is announced at the same time when Iran, a regional competitor of Saudi Arabia and enemy of the United States is staging a 10 day naval war games inside the Straits of Hormuz. Iran has been the target of international sanctions for its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Europe and the US have threatened Iran that they will boycott Iran’s oil if it does not come clean about its nuclear program. Iran instead is threatening that it will close the Strait of Hormuz if its oil was boycotted.
The United States says it will not allow Iran to close the Hormuz Strait. The United States 5th Naval fleet is currently based in Bahrain.
“This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East. It will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against external threats to its sovereignty. It will advance interoperability between the air forces of our two countries through joint training and exercises,” said Shapiro in an obvious attempt to address Iran’s show of military might during the past few days.