'US to sell Saudis F-15 fighter jets'

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 9, 2010 08:04

Long-range weaponry reportedly not included in proposed $30b. deal.

1 minute read.



Illustrative photo: F-15 Silent Eagle

f-15 silent eagle 311. (photo credit:Courtesy Boeing Co.)

The US will sell Saudi Arabia F-15 fighter jets without long-range weapons and other advanced equipment as a result of Israeli pressure,  the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The report states that 84 fighter jets will be supplied to Saudi Arabia over a ten year period, but these will not be as technologically advanced as those used by the US.

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The $30 billion defense package is said to be one of the biggest deals of its kind to date.

During months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, officials including Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly conveyed grave concern to the US regarding the proposed deal, on the basis that if advanced weaponry is supplied to other countries, Israel's military advantage in the region would be diminished and security would be compromised.


According to the report, Israel still has some reservations about the proposed plan, despite assurances and clarifications from US officials. However, Israel is not expected to challenge the progression of the deal. The process could start moving forward as early as next month.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell as saying:  "We have been working very closely with the Israeli government at the highest levels to address their concerns on this and other issues."

He added: "Israel is not the only one with security concerns in the region and we have responsibilities to other allies as well."


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