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US approves $690m defence deal with Saudi Arabia

The US State Department has greenlit Saudi Arabian military’s request for helicopter maintenance support.

The US State Department has greenlit Saudi Arabian military’s request for helicopter maintenance support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has formally approved a US$500 million ($690 million) order from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the continuation of its Maintenance Support Services (MSS) contract.

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The contract involves the delivery of MRO services to the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command’s (RSLFAC) fleet of Boeing AH-64D/E Apaches; Sikorsky UH-60L, UH-60M, and UH-60M Black Hawks; Schweizer 333; and Bell 406CS Kiowa helicopters.

Support for the military’s future fleet of CH-47F Chinook helicopters also forms part of the deal.

The MSS work is expected to include:

  • management and installation of engineering change proposals and modification work orders;
  • repair and return (R&R) management services and component repairs;
  • aircraft simulator logistics, maintenance and technical support;
  • training;
  • maintenance management support for the RSLFAC headquarters staff; and
  • other related elements of logistics and program support.

“This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East,” the DSCA noted.

“The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by the continuation of MSS services that will aid in the maintenance support of Saudi Arabia’s rotary wing aircraft fleet, engines, avionics, weapons, and missile components.

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“Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”

Two US government officials and 350 US contractor representatives have been tasked with supporting the deal for approximately two years.

[Related: South Korea procures precision guided weapons technology]

US approves $690m defence deal with Saudi Arabia
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