Deliveries of Modern Military Equipment to Saudi Arabia

Participating in military operations in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is active in a broader conflict between the Sunni and Shiite regimes which are fighting for their influence in the region. As the struggle becomes more and more fierce and brutal questions arise about the role of the West in these conditions.
Although the West is only an episodic player with its limited intervention, it is still playing an important role in maintaining the military potential of the regimes of the Middle East and, in particular, Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi army is eager to expand its park of main battle tanks to 700 vehicles. The last deal with the United States on the purchase of tanks M1A1 / A2 on the program of sales of military equipment abroad (FMS) was announced in August. The Saudis buy 153 tanks worth $ 1.15 billion. It is interesting that 20 of them should replace the tanks lost or damaged during the conflict in Yemen, where the Saudi troops are fighting with the Husit rebels. Several old M60 Patton tanks were lost, and according to some sources, from Iranian anti-tank missiles.
These additional machines will be added to the Saudi army park, consisting of 373 M1 Abrams tanks. Upgrading older platforms has proved to be more profitable in recent decades than the usual sale of new weapons.
The contractor, American General Dynamics Land Systems, upgrades these tanks to a more modern standard M1A2S. These 373 cars valued at $ 2.9 billion were purchased under the FMS program, the deal involves the purchase of 58 M1A2S tanks and the modernization of another 315 pieces.
Orders of tanks are more than ever in the hands of GD, which has production facilities in Lima, Ohio, which are necessary and must be loaded, as the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have come to an end. The upgrade includes Smith Industries navigation systems, Raytheon sights and fire control and Chrysler electrical systems.
In addition, the company is expected to supply LAV III 8×8 Saudi Arabian cars for a total of $ 10-13 billion.
Over the past 15 years, the company has already supplied the Saudi National Guard with more than 1,000 such machines. It is worth noting the two most recent deals: in 2007, 124 cars worth $ 631 million and the second in 2011 for 73 cars at $ 263 million.
The contract with the army is expected to include substantially more cars. For some machines, the Belgian company Cockerill will supply its towers CT-CV 105HP and CMCT.
The French company Nexter is supply 73 Aravis 4×4 patrol vehicles to Saudi Arabia for an unnamed amount, and it is planned to increase this number to 200 in subsequent contracts. The company also delivered 32 155-mm Caesar self-propelled artillery on the chassis of a Mercedes 6×6 truck in accordance with the contract worth $ 210 million, issued in 2011. Previously, the French have already supplied two batches of 80 and 20 Caesar units.
Another French company Renault sold 100 armored vehicles VAB 4×4 to Saudi Arabia for the amount of approximately 40-50 million within a three-billion contract with Paris. Initially, the machines were destined for Lebanon, but the deal did not pass and therefore Saudi Arabia took these armored vehicles to itself.
Saudi Arabia is also upgrade their obsolete M113 armored personnel carriers. It has been doing this since 2004 and has already upgraded half of the 2000 machines that it plans to upgrade.
The Turkish manufacturer FNSS (partly owned by the British BAE Systems) does this work, supplying kits for installation on cars in Saudi Arabia. The last batch of 500 cars cost the Arabs 360 million dollars. MTU delivered a number of engines, and Allison, respectively, its transmissions.
The Spanish company URO delivered 30 Vamtac cars, and although Riyadh also ordered 950 armored vehicles from Russia BMP-3, it is unlikely that the deal will be further developed, as the relationship between these countries is rather complicated.
As an illustration of this, on December 13, 2017, Saudi Arabia received its first four of 152 modernized fighters Boeing F-15SA (Saudi, advanced).
But the most significant event in this area in recent years has been the purchase of fighters, when the Saudi Air Force selected the Eurofighter Typhoon multipurpose fighter to replace the Tornado and in addition to the existing fleet of F-15C / D fighters. American production.
These Typhoon fighters were taken from a party that BAE Systems company intended for the British Air Force, that is, the priority that the Saudis have here is clearly visible. Initially, in 2007, a deal worth $ 8.86 billion was completed for 72 aircraft delivered in three batches (three batches of 24). This year, the second batch was placed, and the third party is in the process of implementation. BAE is negotiating the sale of another 48 aircraft, but suddenly thought about the human rights, complicating the relationship, and, in this regard, the chances of a contract are not very big.
Modernization of existing fighters remains the most profitable business for Western industry. The Saudi Arabian Air Force wants to retain about 84 Tornado fighters in its composition until 2025, including airplanes, associated weapons and electronic systems. The third stage of modernization in the amount of $ 2.5 billion was signed with BAE Systems in 2014. Raytheon supplies Paveway IV bombs, MBDA with its Storm Shadow ammunition, and Thales Damocles hanging containers.
Until recently, Saudi Arabia has avoided military operations, and now seeks to go to the forefront, and not modestly to remain in the role of extras. But, playing with its muscles in Yemen, while supporting some factions in Syria, this country becomes increasingly uncomfortable partner for Western governments and industry.

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