The United States announced a $29.4 billion sale of F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Reuters reported.
The sale comes during rising tensions with Iran, with both the US and Saudi Arabia worried over its nuclear program. Just this week Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the US and Europe follow through with tougher economic sanctions.
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The sale will include 84 new Boeing F-15 fighters with advanced radar equipment and digital electronic warfare systems, plus upgrades to 70 older F-15s, Reuters reported. It is a part of a larger 10-year deal, worth $60 billion, with Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported. Along with fighter jets, helicopters, different types of missiles, bombs, delivery systems, radar warning systems and night-vision goggles will be included.
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The White House announced the deal from Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is vacationing. Industry experts say the sale will do nothing but boost the American economy, supporting more than 50,000 US jobs, engaging 600 suppliers in 44 states and providing $3.5 billion to the US economy, CNN reported.
The deal further strengthens the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil supplier. Saudi Arabia’s last big weapons purchase from the US was in 1992 for 72 F-15s, valued at about $9 billion, Bloomberg reported.
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