The United States has announced the conclusion of a $900-million-arms deal with Egypt and a $500-million-deal with Saudi Arabia, reported Haaretz newspaper. According to the Pentagon, the deals are designed to fulfill US strategic commitments to the self-defense of the countries in the region, and will not affect the balance of forces in the Middle East, said the paper.
Included in the deal is the improvement of 35 Apache helicopters and the sale of advanced detection equipment for the Egyptian air force's F-16 planes.
Saudi Arabia will receive 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles costing $500 million, while Kuwait has purchased $190 million of artillery and tank ammunition, said Haaretz.
Three separate arms deals have been concluded with Egypt. The first is a $400- million-program for the conversion of Apache helicopters into the new AH-64D model, but without installing the sophisticated "Long Bow" radar system that is supplied to the Israeli air force.
This improvement will increase the ability of anti-tank missiles to operate by day and night, defend essential installations, and provide airborne assistance in proximity to ground forces, added the paper.
The second 300-million-dollar-deal is for 311 AN/APX-113 advanced airborne identification systems to be installed on F-16 aircraft and which can distinguish between enemy and friendly forces, as well as improving the Egyptian army's aerial, land and sea defense systems. The third deal is for land-based SPS-48E radar systems, the paper said.
The deal with Saudi Arabia for the purchase of 500 AMRAAM missiles is one of the largest of its kind. The missile is an intermediate range 50 to 60 kilometer air-to-air missile installed on F-15s and F-16s.
According to the paper, the missile is the most advanced of its kind in the world and is already in the hands of the Israeli air force - Albawaba.com
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