US to announce $110 billion Saudi arms sale as Trump visitsMay 19, 2017 5:01pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plans to announce $110 billion in advanced military equipment sales and training to Saudi Arabia this weekend as President Donald Trump visits the country, officials said Friday.

U.S. officials familiar with the package said it would include Abrams tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar, and communications and cyber security technology. The announcement is expected Saturday in Riyadh, the first leg of Trump's maiden overseas trip as president. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

Much of the package builds on commitments made before Trump took office, although some elements are new. Some of the weapons are designed to help the Saudis in their current conflict in neighboring Yemen where they are leading a coalition battling Iran-backed rebels, the officials said.

But officials said the equipment and training is mainly designed to address Saudi Arabia's broader and longer-term threats. Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors along the Persian Gulf believe Iran to be their biggest threat.

The package includes $109 billion in equipment such as the tanks, ships, Patriot missile batteries and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense — or THAAD system — for taking out incoming missiles. Some $750 million will be in the form of training programs for the Saudi Air Force, which has been criticized for inflicting high numbers of civilian casualties in Yemen. Training will include education on targeting, the laws of war and reducing civilian casualties, officials said.

Ahead of the weekend announcement, the administration separately informed Congress on Friday that it will sell some $500 million in precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. These include laser-guided Paveway II bombs and JDAM kits for converting unguided bombs into "smart bombs."

In notifying lawmakers, the State Department said the munitions will improve Saudi targeting ability, particularly in Yemen.

The department said it would continue to urge Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners in Yemen to reduce civilian casualties and work toward a truce and peace negotiations.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Graphic shows details of U.S. missile launch targeting an ICBM; 2c x 3 1/2 inches; 96.3 mm x 88 mm;
Leery of North Korea, US plans first test of ICBM intercept
Kuwaiti company settles claims of troop food contract fraudKuwaiti logistics company to pay $95 million to resolve allegations that it inflated prices and defrauded the U.S. government for contracts to feed American troops
Kuwaiti company agrees to pay $95 million in fraud caseA Kuwaiti logistics company accused of inflating prices and defrauding the US government has agreed to pay $95 million, plead guilty to misdemeanor theft of government funds
FILE - In this March 16, 2016 file photo, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The A-10 Warthog attack plane with the ungainly shape and odd nickname has been given new life, spared by Air Force leaders who have reversed the Obama administration’s view of the plane as an unaffordable extra in what had been a time of tight budgets. McSally, who flew the A-10 in combat and commanded a squadron in Afghanistan, speaks of it with obvious affection. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)
Once at risk of extinction, iconic Warthog plane lives on
In this May 24, 2017, photo, Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump at the Vatican. When Trump met Pope Francis, the U.S. leader renewed a commitment to fighting global famine and proudly announced a new multimillion-dollar American aid contribution to four African nations in crisis. Left unsaid by the president or the White House: His proposal to slash such funds by more than 40 percent in the next fiscal year. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)
As Trump announces famine aid, relief funds face big cuts
AP FACT CHECK: President Trump and his mistold NATO talesAP FACT CHECK: Multiple mistold tales on NATO, other issues, from Trump

Related Searches

Related Searches